I was first introduced to the common Japanese Anemone six years ago when I was volunteering at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. I was kneeling beside a volunteer that was easily in her seventies with dark gray curls poking out from underneath her bandana and straw garden hat. We were weeding underneath the gnarled branches of the ancient rhododendrons and came upon a large clump of white flowers. And a visitor stopped and asked about them. And I felt a bit surprised and took a second look at the Japanese Anemone while the experienced Master Gardener answered the visitor’s questions. Then when the visitor moved on, she turned and with a mischievous smile to me took her trowel and dug a small start off the side of the clump and slipped it into my purple bucket.
“I couldn’t!” I gasped.
“Nobody’ll miss it. And you need to grow this.” She insisted with a wink.
She was right. I look forward to August to see my Japanese Anemone shoot up four-foot high stems adorned with white blossoms. The little start has grown into a big clump in my shady back yard and I moved a clump into my front yard that is getting established. I watch pedestrians stop and gaze at them. No wonder. They are beautiful and tough. The sturdy flower stems can withstand heavy rains. The flowers do wilt a bit in a vase, but the seed heads work great in flower arrangements. I used three big stems of them in Monica’s alter bouquet for her wedding. You can find them at you local nursery in lovely shades of pink, purple, and white. And these plants, when happy, can colonize in your garden. So, if you live in the area, let me know if you’d like to grow it. I’d be happy to dig you out a start this month. Because you really need to grow this!