During this hot weather period, our trees have been under stress. Due to the risk of falling branches, we ask you not to sit under or use benches under our trees or enter roped off areas.

April plant of the month

If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a nice surprise!

Anemone nemorosaAround the garden, the woodland floor is full of sparkling, starry flowers carried on a bed of pretty, deeply cut leaves. The little gems in question this month are wood anemones - Anemone nemorosa.

All over Wisley – from Battleston Hill to Oakwood, and on beds and borders in between – your eye is drawn to patches and clumps of wood anemones. These cheerful little things spread far and wide when they’re happy – clearly they’re happy here – and so they often don’t have a plant label near them because we didn’t necessarily plant them!

Every year, the lobed and finely divided leaves emerge just before the flowers, where each one is held on a single stem, just 10-20cm (4-8in) above ground level. The flowers themselves are star-shaped with around 7 or 8 slender petals (strictly speaking these are tepals) with a yellow centre.


Various forms of Anemone nemorosa, wood anemone (click to enlarge)Multicoloured jewels

Often white, and sometimes flushed pink underneath, the flowers of these lovely herbaceous perennials sometimes appear in a number of other colours. Look out for pink, mauve and blue ones, and even double-flowered types. In fact, there is a really wide range of cultivars available, which is another reason why we love this little plant so much. Check out the green, Award of Garden Merit-winning cultivar ‘Viriscens’.

As with all “good” spring plants, Anemone nemorosa does its thing with aplomb before disappearing completely by mid-summer, ready to spread via underground rhizomes or by seed and re-emerge next spring. If these are tickling your fancy, the Wisley Plant Centre has a rare white-flowered form that is seldom on sale, propagated from our plants on Battleston Hill. It produces carpets of pure-white flowers in April and, naturally, likes a woodland-type position.


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