Ewen's garden

A collection of columns, paintings and photographs about gardening on an offshore island in New Zealand.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Currently flowering in my vegetable garden are Anemone, Aneomne coronaria ‘de Caen’. These plants grow from corms and are of the Ranunculacae family, the same family as our Mt. Cook lily Ranunculus lyallii, certainly a family with a global presence. The name Anemone comes from the Greek anemos meaning wind and was first coined by a chap called Theophrastus, and so windflower apparently because its flowers open only in the wind-a good thing we have ample spring westerlies! The genus is large, containing some 70 species. A.coronaria in the wild is found from Southern Europe to Central Asia, and it is from this parent the cultivar ‘de Caen’ comes from. The flowers are single and range in colour from bright red through purples to almost blue. There is another cultivar commonly planted and this is A.coronaria ‘St. Brigid’, this being a double form with the same colour range. Other commonly seen
hybrids are of the Japanese anemone, Anemone hupehensis frequently white but some of pink shades. These anemones are perennial and just need a little trimming back at the end of the season, but will flower over a long period during summer.

When I was young, my mother used to grow Anemone coronaria cv. for the cut flower market in Wellington, her blooms being just that much earlier she could command a better price. Other produce for the Wellington market included mushrooms, which we would all go out and pick, pack into 20lb apple cases and send off on the mail bus. For me, I am happy to enjoy my blooms arranged on our dining table.

I will though, be off under the house shortly, to get all my summer seeds and spring cuttings on the way in my plant propagator. Two years of looking at a bare patch of weed mat is enough! This area of offending weed mat is opposite our front door, I have in mind grasses, flax Phormium sp. and a red cordyline. The cordyline is growing else where in the garden and I hope to be able to take cuttings, fingers crossed! Other cuttings on the “to get” list are hibiscus, as it is time to prune them, it is also a good time to get some hardwood cuttings before the soft new growth appears.

It is interesting how one project leads to another, for with all these new plants, I will need some where to harden them off. So next will be to make myself and wee shade house, a lean-to on the side of my existing clothes line area, mmmmm this may also be a good place to grow some bonsai, something I am keen to give a go, better keep an eye out for suitable cutting material for this project also!


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