Anenomes have delighted gardeners for centuries, with such a wealth of species and cultivars adorning

our gardens.

We are spoilt for choice of size, flowering times and a beautiful palette of colours.

They all stem from a few species, such as our Scottish A. nemorosa that still adorns our ancient woods and grasslands.

Anemone blanda is first on the scene in early spring and is soon followed by Scotland’s native A. nemorosa, known by most of us as wind flowers.

Much of Scotland offers ideal conditions: the moist but very free-draining conditions you find in sparsely growing ancient woodland and grassy slopes.

Like A. blanda, A. nemorosa is low-growing from thin, slender rhizomes, with flower stalks a modest 20cm above lush clumps of broadly serrated low foliage.

Plants slowly spread vegetatively so are well-behaved in any border and won’t intrude on their neighbours’ space.

Both A. blanda and A. nemorosa species come in blue or white and as I write, nemorosa’s charming little flowers are sadly fading in a border.

Sheltering close to a large elm by the burn, this Scottish native illustrates the species’ preference for woody or grassland areas.

Some later spring species such as A. coronaria are also blue, with large black eyes strikingly highlighted by white rings.

But there are pinks, purples and crimsons too, as with A. pavonina, the poppy anenome.

I remember some years ago being captivated by the breath-taking sight of poppy anenomies carpeting a Greek hillside.

No garden plant could equal the majesty of this beauty basking in its natural setting.

The summer introduces taller growing anenome species which again thrive in very free-draining soil.

A. rivularis usually reaches 90cm in very free-draining soil and my var. ‘Glacier’ even achieves 60cm in an arid rockery.

Its little blue-flushed white flowers, surrounding a bold black eye are such a joy.

But this should be no surprise as I’ve seen the similar little white stars of A. narcissiflora shining brightly in Switzerland’s Schynige Platte, Europe’s highest botanic garden.

Plant of the week

Courgette ‘Verde di Milano. This dark green, almost black, dwarf bush courgette is the perfect choice for a small veg plot.

Courgettes are tender so should only be planted once there is no frost risk. Courgettes need warm, rich soil and copious amounts of water. Warm the soil by part filling the planting hole with fresh grass clippings if fresh horse muck isn’t available. Cover with the excavated soil and home compost, fill the planting hole with water and then plant. Reduce weed competition with a grass mulch round the plant, ensuring grass doesn’t touch the plant stem. Keep well watered.

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