The Chinese or Japanese anemone, or windflower, is a herbaceous perennial, dying down completely in winter and returning in spring. They provide colour late in the flowering season when many other plants are beginning to fade and are grown for their saucer like, gently cupped white or rose pink flowers which are held on single stems in loose clusters above dark green lobed leaves.
We asked the folk at the Pavilion Garden Centre, Ballygarvan, for their advice: "These are hardy plants and will grow in sun or partial shade in fertile well drained, moisture retentive soil, so are best planted in under trees in dappled shade or in beds or boarders which get full sun but which retains a certain amount of moisture in the soil. Adding plenty humus to the planting hole and mulching will help keep moisture in the soil if planted in full sun. Anemones are self seeding and will propagate very quickly if left to their own devices, this is why it is best to divide the plant (in autumn or early spring, weather permitting) every few years by cutting down the middle with a shovel, dividing into regular size pieces and replanting immediately in another part of the garden (or in a friends or neighbours gardens!)"
Site: Plant in sun or light shade in rich soil, ideally moist and well drained.
Planting practice: Anemones can be planted from early autumn to early spring, weather permitting.
Flowering time: Late summer to early autumn.
Propagation: Divide and replant between autumn and early spring.
Pests and diseases: Generally problem free, except for powdery mildew during wet and humid weather.
Bonus: Flowers when most other herbaceous perennials are fading.
Anemone x hybrid ‘Honorine Jobert’: A spreading Japanese anemone with eye-catching open white flowers with yellow centres, it has a long flowering period of eight to 10 weeks.
Anemone x hybrid ‘Konigin Charlotte’: A vigorous plant with large, semi double pink flowers 10cm (4in) across, that have shades of purple on the reverse sides of the petals.
Anemone x hybrid ‘Pamina: A lower growing variety with double pink flowers.