As a gardener afflicted by the travel bug, I am always excited to observe in the wild the plants I grow in my garden or use extensively in gardening projects for various clients. On a recent trip to Greece, I was pleased to see stunning anemones in their native habitats.
One such plant I was happy to see in good numbers was Anemone blanda. This species belongs to the highly ornamental Ranunculaceae family. In Greece it inhabits mountainous habitats, either in alpine meadows or in the shade of lower woodlands and forest margins.
A. blanda is one of the least expensive in any bulb catalogue. The dry, shrivelled tubers can be planted at any time in autumn and early winter – scatter the tubers on the grass at random, then plant in holes 5-10cm deep. It’s well suited for naturalising in meadows or lawns, together with other early flowering bulbs like snowdrops and crocuses. Just remember not to mow your ‘flowery mead’ until the leaves have died down and the seeds have spread in early summer.
This is a species that is highly variable in the wild, both in flower colour and plant size. The daisy-like flowers usually come in shades of blue, but also in white and dark pink. The more intense colours tend to be more expensive, though readily available from specialist nurseries and are well suited to pot culture. Use a free draining compost, that is allowed to dry over summer. Start watering in autumn and keep the pots either on a patio or in an unheated greenhouse.
See more from my travels in Greece here.
Răzvan Chişu MCIHort, has had a passion for alpines since he joined the AGS aged 14. As a professional horticulturist, he divides his time between garden design jobs, giving lectures and running plant hunting tours. His plant interests are diverse and wide ranging, from bulbs to ferns, succulents and hardy perennials.