August 16, 2010

Why wasn't this plant in my garden?

Anemone vitifolia (also tomentosa) robustissima.  Grape-leaved anemone.

Not mine.
Why not?  It should be.  It so should be.  Update: now it is.

I have long wanted this plant after seeing it at our local park and after admiring its easy elegance in my neighbor's garden (actually, I want all her plants.  I have serious envy problems when I go over there.)

Then, in mid August I found a very large, healthy looking, beautiful $10 container of Anemone tomentosa robustissima at Home Depot, while on an errand to buy light bulbs.  I know, I know; my husband also questions how I wound up in the garden center while getting 60 watt energy savers.  But my readers know how that happens.

That container was quickly snapped up and this lovely anemone is now at the edge of my patio wall.

I have been surprised this year with the quality and selection of plants at the Connecticut Home Depot stores.  There was a time when all they had were sad pots of mis-tended annuals, the usual Bradford Pear saplings in rootbound containers, and drying, dying arborvitae.

This year I found itea, interesting kinds of buddleia, varied heuchera choices, great clematis and lots of other shrubs and perennials that only someone with some gardening experience would recognize and appreciate.  All in very good condition.

A real surprise, since, like most gardeners, I have long dismissed the box stores for any kind of plant expertise.  This year Home Depot has impressed me, not just once but every time I have gone in there, and not just at one location, but at the couple of stores I visited.

So I did not hesitate to grab the anemone I had long wanted and thought I could only get through mail order!  And two sturdy dahlias that dazzled me as well.

Here's the new anemone, bravely entertaining the bees on a muggy August day, still in a little bit of transplant shock:

It will get about 4 feet tall, and it takes more sun than other anemones.  The shell pink flowers are pretty, but it's the pearly tight silver buds that are so sweet, which are more visible in the photo at the top of this post.

It blooms now, in late summer through fall.  But it's attractive even while waiting for the flowers; the grape leaf shaped leaves are bold and interesting, and the general form is a nice full mound.

The fact that I ran across it, unexpectedly, and on sale, and in such good shape, just delights me.  Has your Home Depot surprised you?


  1. We don't have a Home Depot but our Lowes sometimes surprises me with some interesting plants.

  2. Laurrie, we do have Home Depots here, but I am not seeing th fabulous plants that you are! I think that I should write them a letter and ask them why not, I would love to see (and purchase)more interesting plant choices then what they are offering.
    Love your amemone, I am on a bit of a obsession with them, (so far, Honorine Jobert, Whirlwind, Pamina and Margarete), but I think I need this one as well, love the silvery buds.

  3. What a coincidence! I have been hunting for that Anenome for years as it is hardy in zone 4.

    As for shopping at HD, I do it all the time. I find rare or unusual perennials that just aren't available here otherwise. I'm sure it's not PC or trendy or whatever, but who cares...I get my plant!

    Christine in Alaska

  4. Lisa, our Lowe's is right next door to Home Depot! I haven't been very impressed with anything at Lowe's garden center.

    Deborah, I hope to see posts of your collection of different anemones... they sound interesting!

    Christine, I hope you locate one of these anemones for your garden. It should do well for you.

  5. That anemone is gorgeous! I once planted several anemones, but they quickly died. I'm not sure if it was the soil or the climate.

    Occasionally I have been fortunate find great plants at Home Depot. The trick is to get them fresh off the truck. They sometimes don't get good care at the store, and after a while they are dried out and wilted.

  6. Deborah, in past years I have found terrible neglect of plants at Home Depot, but this year in addition to good selection, they all seemed well tended. I need to find out who the manager is and what changed.

  7. I do love Anemone... and this variety is particularly hardy and beautiful. Yes, Home Depot sometimes really surprises me. I found Tricyrtis formosana 'Dark Beauty' there - pretty much fainted before I grabbed as many as I could haul away!
    xo Michaela

  8. Michaela, I'm glad you found some real scoops at your Home Depot too! It pays to visit all the garden centers / stores, and visit often all season.


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