It's blue-min' beautiful
THERE are few flowers which are a true blue which may be one of the reasons that delphiniums are so highly prized and the search for a blue rose has occupied a number of plant breeders for some years. However, in my garden at present there are some groups
THERE are few flowers which are a true blue which may be one of the reasons that delphiniums are so highly prized and the search for a blue rose has occupied a number of plant breeders for some years. However, in my garden at present there are some groups of strikingly clear blue flowers which are hardy, easy to grow and will seed themselves if given enough encouragement. They are called anemone blanda and their flowering season coincides with other early spring flowers such as snowdrops, hellebores and crocus. These anemones produce small daisy shaped blooms on short stems and have fern-shaped leaves which emerge from the ground in a similar way to aconites, that is curled up with a flower bud inside each shoot. While the predominant colour is a true blue there are shades of pink and mauve and some white forms of this pretty plant. Some breeders have isolated the blue strain and these can be bought separately from the mixed colours if wished. Anemone blanda grow wild on the rocky slopes of East Mediterranean countries and for this reason they enjoy a location which offers good drainage. Mine have been planted in my winter border beneath Viburnum Tinus and Viburnam Bodnantense and have freely seeded themselves among the hellebores and spring flowering hardy cyclamen. In fact, I have just dug up three plants which had grown in the gravel driveway next to the bed and these I have transferred to an area beneath a weeping ash where they can start a new colony. Like most varieties of anemone they are corms rather than bulbs, and they are quite tiny and dark-coloured like a small black pebble in appearance. They are on sale as dry corms in the autumn, but a this time of the year some garden centres sell them in pots in full flower.