As the soil warms up in spring, many small bulbs spring up and flower, and among these are the anemones. Planted in the autumn, these grow from unpromisingly looking bits of twig which may have the odd bit of dried root attached. Which way up should they go – it doesn’t matter, the plant will sort itself out.
Anemone blanda comes in blue, white (with a pink reverse to the petals) and pink. I like to plant the colours separately but as these self sow for me, the clumps can soon merge.
Anemone nemorosa is generally white, although pale blue, pale pink, and double forms exist, along with one or two interesting variations with green parts to the flowers (you either love or hate these – I definitely in the ‘love’ camp). A. n. ‘Robinsonia’ is a sought-after form with pale blue flowers which I have found comes true from seed if isolated from other forms.
If you want something with a bit more zing, anemone ranunculoides has yellow flowers. Again, there are forms with double or semi-double blooms.
Or if bright yellow is not your thing (and there can be a lot of it in spring gardens with forsythia and narcissus), anemone. x lipsiensis, a cross between the previous one and nemorosa, has flowers of a softer yellow.
All these anemones grow happily in a woodsy type soil that doesn’t dry out. They prefer sun in the spring and shade later in the year; tucking them under shrubs or where other perennials will grow up later is ideal. I am firmly of the opinion you can never have too many of these – anemones are definitely my friends.