Last week I went to the Arboretum with my out-of-town, blogging friend, Jeanne Stone (Butterfly Tales: Metamorphosis from the Cocoon). Jeanne and I became friends via blogging. We met in Chicago about 3 years ago while she was here with her grandson, Sam. We became fast friends and have taken 2 trips together with another one planned for early 2017 and another in the Fall of 2017. With cameras draped around our shoulders and bags filled with extra lenses, batteries and SD cards we are always up for an adventure.
While Jeanne was here visiting, I knew that she would enjoy the Arboretum, because 1) she loves flowers 2) she likes to take pictures and 3) she likes to take pictures of flowers. (pretty much describes me too). As we parked the car to visit the Scented Garden we were greeted by these wonderful flowers.
These charming blooms have inspired poets, artists, and songwriters for centuries with their colorful cup shaped petals and contrasting yellow center. The Anemone is a staple in cottage gardens and contains an entire genus including 120 different species all under the scientific name Anemone. The lavender colored species pictured here blooms in the late summer into fall and is called the Japanese Anemone. Or as I like to refer to it as....the fall Anemone.
Anemones are hardy in gardening zones 3/4-9 and will grow in all but the hottest and the driest areas of the US. (ie: southern California, southern tip of Texas, and a good portion of Florida) The Japanese Anemone grows to 3-4 feet high in sun or partial shade in good soil.
In the spring, the Wood Anemone covers the ground with it's white blossoms and yellow centers.
These flowers are also commonly called windflowers. Anemone comes from the Greek word with the same spelling which means "the wind's daughter". It is a combination of the word for wind and the suffix - one which indicates a female offspring or daughter. Greek myths portray the Anemone with dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the loss of a loved one to death. Quite opposite meanings for sure. In Eastern cultures windflowers are used at funerals, but Westerners (that would mean us) tend to see it as protection against evil and ill luck instead. Personally I like the Western correlation better, don't you?! With the vast varieties in white, blue, red, pink, and purple we can enjoy these beauties from early spring until late fall.
With a variety of different meanings, you can use Anemone flowers for occasions like:
- A funeral or memorial for a loved one that passed away
- A bouquet for someone looking forward to a big move, marriage, or the birth of a baby
- A stay well gift for anyone trying to avoid illness
- Wishing someone good luck
The message the Anemone delivers is simple...
"Look forward to the future and don't forsake the ones you love. Something new is always around the corner, no matter how dark things might look right now."
If you spot an Anemone, enjoy it's beauty and think of it's message, they are both worth remembering.