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Self-sown Anemone - cut down in the prime of life!


By balcony


Yesterday I had to watch helpless as a red self-sown Anemone was cut down by the local council gardeners! I only discovered it a couple of weeks ago!

It was growing in the grass area the council attends to during the summer.

It’s right in front of our balcony!

During the 15 years I’ve gardened on this balcony no end of plants have self-seeded themselves outside into the grass or the narrow strip of grass-free-dirt they keep between the concrete floor of the balcony & the grass itself.

After a very mild winter in which the grass hardly stopped growing the council gardeners finally got around to cutting the grass that surrounds 3 sides of our block of flats. Being as the grass was so long the first guy came round with a heavy duty strimmer which make smart work of the long grass. He was the one who first cut down the self-sown Anemone. When this guy finished another one came along with a small petrol mower & went over the whole area – again & again! As his mower collected the cut grass he had to empty the grass cuttings after every run! He had to do this at least 10 times for the patch in front of the building, (I saw him do it 3 times!), with the mower going over the area at least twice while the grass was picked up I see no chance the Anemone will be able to recover. Shame because the strimmer obviously can’t cut long grass down to an 1" high which would have left a possibility of new growth in the future.

The Anemone had recently produced a 3rd bud to go along with the 2 open flowers. As I was expecting this to happen sooner or later I took one last photo of the 3 flowers just a couple of days ago. I went up close & got down on my hands & knees to take the last photo – to keep its brief life alive for posterity.

Sorry about this blog, I can’t get the photos to appear in the places I want them to appear today! I’ve been struggling with this blog for a couple of hours & now I just give up!

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you should have dug them up out of harms way i bet the grass cutter would not have objected and if you thought he would take a stool outside for a sit down with a trowel dangling over the side

15 Apr, 2016


That's a shame ,but like Snoopdog,I think I would have dug it out too,although I realise you only have your balcony for your plants,so it might not have been suitable ,or even survived least you saw it in flower..

15 Apr, 2016


How sad Balcony I really feel for you - my other half has set bulbs on a local public area only to see a council worker come along and spray pesticide all over them - how sad is that - that anemone may survive for next year - they are quite resilient - fingers crossed - Jane

15 Apr, 2016


That's so disappointing - they are such vibrant colours and so cheering. Can't give you a Like for this sad little story!

15 Apr, 2016


It was a shame to see it cut down but the grass was far too long to dig into it in search of the tiny tuber. The grass roots would have made it all but impossible to dig out. Besides we haven't had the most favourable of weathers for weeks & I haven't been well enough to risk my health further - as much as it pained me to see it being cut down & not done anything to save it.

At least in a blog here it will be remembered for posterity in a way it wouldn't have done even if I had dug it up.

It's short life has made be realise it would be possible to grow some from my own seeds & probably see them flower the following year - as this one must have done.

The council gardeners cut the grass around our block most weeks during the growing period so it must have been able to grow a couple of leaves below the height the blades are generally set at. If one can grow & flower in those conditions many more could be grown to flowering in a pot or two on the balcony!

Anybody up to the challenge of growing a few Anemones to flower from their own saved (or bought) seeds?

17 Apr, 2016


If I remember....

17 Apr, 2016


The 'like' is for your compassion for the poor plant!
While buying some Primula plants at the Nursery this weekend - reduced to clear at 25p each, we were talking about how they would make up over the summer and be OK flowering next year. Commenting on how the Council take out the Primulas in the municipal flower beds and shred them all for compost, he was telling me about watching some of the men removing huge Phormiums worth about £50 each and cutting them into small pieces to shred and he offered to buy them, but wasn't allowed.
Sad how plants have now become part of our throw-away society.

18 Apr, 2016


Doesn't it make you cross.. When I was little there was a saying "Wilful waste makes woeful want!"

18 Apr, 2016


You are quite right, Honeysuckle! Unfortunately "throwaway" has become the "mantra" of our western civilization! Nothing is made to last these days & few people "Reuse" even if they do recycle (mainly because it's obligatory in most places now), they certainly don't reduce! Not that us ordinary people can be blamed exclusively as there is so much packaging with everything we buy. Manufactures should be obliged to look at less packaging & reduce it as well as making it more recyclable.

20 Apr, 2016

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