About 12 years ago, amongst a batch of Anemone seedlings, Elizabeth spotted a plant very with different character to the parent and showing real hybrid vigour. This was placed aside to grow on and watch. This young plant was delightful and has since proved to be the most beautiful and long flowering plant we grow.
Elegant white flowers, 7-9cm. across are held well above the attractive neat green foliage, each flower has lilac-blue bands on the reverse of the petals and at twilight closes to a nodding lilac-blue and white bell. Flowering is continuous from late May until November frosts.
In 2005, greatly encouraged by Roy Lancaster, we decided to try to release this plant to the wider horticultural world, and named it Anemone 'Wild Swan', but first it had to be propagated.
We have slowly increased the stock, but to produce large numbers tissue culture has proved to be necessary. This has been a long process with many setbacks but eventually we were ready to launch it. It was first shown at Chelsea Flower Show in May 2011 on Hardy's exhibit, to great admiration, and our thanks to Rosy and Rob Hardy for showing it so well.
Anemone 'Wild Swan' was awarded 'Chelsea 2011 Plant of the Year', a huge accolade and surprise and delight to us.
The demand for the plant has been very high, we sold plants at 'Gardening Scotland' and 'Tatton Park' shows, each time we were mobbed and sold out on the first day. We are now selling it mail-order and on the nursery, available in half litre and one litre sizes.
Wild Swan should also start to be sold by other nurseries and garden centres during 2013.
Monrovia Nurseries have now introduced it in U.S.A. and in August 2013 it was awarded 'Best of Show' of all the new introductions at Farwest Show in Portland OR.
During the 12 years we have been growing the plant, we have found it very well behaved, it stays where you put it and does not invade its neighbours as can happen with Japanese Anemones. For continuous flowering it prefers a rich and fertile soil which does not become too dry. In the south, dappled shade would be a good environment.
Our stock field at Ellenbank.