x-Anemone x hybrida 'Queen Charlotte'
Japanese anemones should be a staple in every garden, bringing interest, light and colour continuously throughout the late summer and autumn.
Tall, elegant plants they are versatile and undemanding and even attractive before they bloom with their tight round buds held above attractive vine like foliage. Available in shades of pink and white, 'Queen Charlotte' has masses of wide, open, semi double flowers in a lovely rose pink, which contrast beautifully with their distinctive golden stamens. Held on wiry stems they are a valuable source of late season nectar for pollinating insects and are eventually followed by delightful, white cotton balls of fluffy seedheads, which ultimately disperse, drifting off on a breeze and attracting interest long after the flowers are gone.
'Queen Charlotte' is reliable and easy to grow, happy in sun or semi shade and a rich soil, so give it lots of organic matter when planting and mulch plants every spring to keep their roots cool. Cut back after flowering and tidy plants, removing any faded leaves in early spring.
Despite being tough, robust plants anemones dislike being moved once they're established but as these plants self seed almost mercilessly and can swiftly colonise whole borders in the right conditions, you should have no trouble increasing numbers. However, if you need to, plants can be propagated by root cuttings – look for new shoots on young roots and cut them into small pieces, laying each onto the surface of pots of compost.
These bright, free flowering plants look most effective at the back of a border, in front of a dark hedge or fence, yew or holly are the perfect foil to the clear, bright blooms and they are at their very best when these graceful plants are allowed to meander naturally through other late flowering perennials such as asters, Echinacea and grasses. They also lend height and grace to seasonal containers and can be planted out in the border once they have died down.