I hadn’t seen one, just heard the name.
Then I saw the written word somewhere: Anemone.
Kinda like the first time I saw the word “Cotoneaster” and called it a “Cotton Easter” shrub — to the amusement of experienced gardeners nearby. One of them explained: “It’s an aster. Cotone aster.”
Yeah, sure. But in my mind, it’s still “Cotton Easter”.
What can I say? People like me hail from a strange planet.
Which may explain why we can’t cook or bake or knit.
Or make nice floral arrangements.
But I digress.
The anemone flower, a member of the buttercup family, has magical origins.
If you believe the old legends, anyway.
And you should…. if you’re a gardener.
Because I understand that gardeners are really magicians and witches, and that if you see them in the moonlight — at exactly one minute after midnight — you’ll notice that their fingers are an iridiscent green and tendrils grow from their hands and feet…..
But I digress. Again.
Anemone is said to have sprung from the earth when the goddess Venus shed tears of grief over the loss of Adonis and flowers grew where her tears fell.
As to the flower’s linguistic roots: they’re Greek — anemos and one – meaning “daughter of the wind”.
And indeed this delicate-looking flower always seems to hold her own.
An example to us humans — for those times when we’re buffeted by the strong winds of life.
But I digress.
I love Miss Anemone for showing up in her gentle colours just as most of the other flowers in my Canadian garden have faded.
A reminder that patience is a virtue and that every late bloomer has its day in the sun.
Or, as my Jamaican ancestors would say: “Every dog has his day, and every puss his 9 o’clock”.
I tell you – my beloved people had a saying for every single thing. Some of which I’m still trying to figure out.
No wonder I digress so often.
Dedicated, with thanks, to Les and Sandra, from whose flowerbeds came our anemone and several of the other flowers in our garden.
90 thoughts on “Ever Heard Of An Emony?”
I have just been reading about your Les and Sandra. 🙂 Beautiful anemones. And you do make me laugh about gardeners, and you reminded me of a friend who travelled the length of the country with some rocket seedlings for me. Then the night before she was due to return home, we remembered we hadn’t planted out the precious seedlings. So there we were by the light of the moon and a torch planting the seedlings in the exact place my friend said would be perfect. The spot was perfect. In the spring and summer my front garden is little else but rampaging rocket. 😀 😀 Just as well I like it!
Haha! I can picture you and your friend “by the light of the moon”, planting the seedlings. We will look forward to seeing a photo of the results on your blog this summer, Gallivanta. what a great story.
And I’m glad you’ve hung in with the book! I just realized that people reading it now have the added benefit of my blog, where they can see a few pictures of this garden and house.
I really like having the blog as an extra* to your book but I would enjoy your story even without the delight of blog photos and your conversation. (* extra like the bits they add on film CDs of behind the scenes, or how the film was made, interviews with the actors, unedited scenes! )
Well, thank you, Kind Ma’am.
Plant names are fascinating and pronunciations a tricky business! ‘Daughter of the wind’ is a beautiful name, I had not realised its translation before, they sound wild and free.
They do sound wild and free. In some places, they’re called “Windflower” too.
A lovely post, Cynthia. I also read it as Cotton Easter years ago when I first stared reading obsessively about gardening. As a child I always thought Nasturtiums were Nasty Urchins. I still think of them that way.
Nasty Urchins! I’m laughing here. Now the name will be stuck in my head and I’ll never see Nasturtiums the same way. Glad you read it as Cotton Easter too. Unless that means we are BOTH weird.
Most amusing, Cynthia! I do have to tackle my “Cotton Easter” soon, so will be doing it with a smile, thank you! I do believe that Windflower is an alternative name for Anemones (or An Emonies – if that’s the plural! 😉 ), so now I know why.
Now that you mention “tackle” I do remember thinking there was nothing cottony about that shrub! Yes, Windflower is the name used by some people. and I like your plural of An Enomy.
Anemone is so pretty… When I was a teenager with my first car, I remember having a keychain that said, “Every dog has his day, but the nights belong to us pussycats.” (No awareness of the sexual implications at that time.) How nice to find it’s based on a Jamaican saying!
Thanks, Aggie. How interesting that your keychain had a similar saying. This probably means that the saying, in some form, was an old English one.
Beautiful photos from a beatiful flower. I love those ‘misheard’ words..my sister always talks about the ‘West Wild” and since my son named it that way…we always eat ‘lalasagna’ .
Me too.What fun to hear your examples. I love these wild and weird words that we ‘hear’.
Love this post, Cynthia, your words make the anemone even more beautiful, if that’s possible. p.s. I still call it ”Cotton Easter”, too 😉
Excellent, Lori Lee! I’m so glad to have company in my mispronunciation.
I’ve heard of it, but had never seen it written. Would not have known what it was. I would have probably pronounced it as enemy. LOL. It’s a beauty. 🙂
Well, its a wonder I didn’t hear “an enema”.
Glad to get your reply, Elizabeth. Wishing you a good day.
All Anemones do have their day as even the ones way down south wait until fall to bloom. I just took some photos of mine for a post. I saw a post from Australia of Anemones blooming during their fall.
Oh good. I’ll check your post. I know it comes in several colours, but I only have pink. what colours are yours?
Mine are pink, but I would like a white one. I started with one small plant with 2 leaves and it spread like crazy. They will stay green all winter here.
That’s one of many nice things where you live: some plants stay green through the winter. Expands my definition of ‘evergreen’!
Lovely post Cynthia. You manage to entertain, educate and share all with a grace and humility that bonds. You’re a good story teller. Thanks! 🙂
And no I hadn’t heard of emony or anemone, not most plant names. I mostly enjoy nature without labels and occasionally learn a new name like today. 🙂
You are so kind, Brad. Thank you.
Writing these last few years has helped save my life. Maybe that’s why I’m modest about it. Gratitude can do that to a person.
Now, if only I could get those plant names right!!
I love your digressions. 🙂 All good gardeners digress, weed here, snap deadheads there, prune another place entirely. It’s a way of life, and it helps us thrive. 🙂
I love your take on this. And you’re so right, Brenda. Gardeners are such digressers.
And enjoyers. I enjoy every bit of it. 🙂 Even the bugs, as I see you do, too.
OK: some bugs. Mosquitoes and earwigs I could do without!!
LOL Okay, I agree. And grubs, I could do without grubs.
Love your post and your beautiful anemone pictures! 🙂 It’s raining here again today but cooler!
Raining but cool I can handle. Because it’s probably not humid, right?
Do you get a lot of rain up on your mountain?
Thanks for the great post. I am so glad to hear that other folks got caught growing Cotton Easters.
For years I also grew Campa NOO la’s until I heard from a gardinerd who also happened to be my mother -in-law. “Do you mean Cam PAN yew la’s” she asked, expertly faking genuine astonishment.
She also liked my CLEM atis when all along I thought I had a Clem AA tis.
What’s in a name, I say.
What a wonderful reply, Les.
Campa NOO la’s?
And seeing as you are one of my most favorite garden teachers, may I please blame YOU for all the plant names that I routinely mangle?
I’m sure I would not have screwed up so badly on my own. Er…. OK, maybe I would have.
Anemone my favorite flower always telling us of summer ending & moving into Fall another beginning,another season. I also love the meaning “Daughter of the Wind” so appropriate as the winds begin to blow as Fall descends on us. Always thought the flower as “Cotton Easter” until now but probably will continue to do so. My other little weird note on names was Clematis & not sure how one should pronounce it as I was corrected once someone suggested the pronunciation should be “Clementines”. Does anyone know?
Loving your blogs with thanks,
Great to hear from you, Sandra.
CLEMENTINES? Even this nincompoop here knows that HAS to be wrong. But then again… let’s hear from other bloggers.
Borborygyms’ comment mentioned the difficulty with that word too. 1: CLEM Atiss and 2: Clem AHTISS. I say the latter, putting the stress on the last 2 syllables, but no-one should trust me on these things.
Glad you like Anemones! Such sweet flowers.
We have some of these anemones in flower in our garden and they are lovely. I used to have some beautiful double white ones too but they have disappeared. I think the purple ones are nearly indestructible.
Always so good to hear from you.
Double whites I’ve never seen. Must be pretty.
These ones are spreading and so far, so good, but one of these days we may have to move some out. They are very hardy, yes. And pretty.
Fortunately they are easy to control when they spread too far!
Clare: how do you pronounce Clematis? (See Sandra’s question below).
When I was very young Mum and Dad had friends who lived in Devon in a pretty cottage called ‘Clematis Cottage’ and they pronounced it Clem A tis and that is how I pronounced it too until I was in my twenties and was corrected by a gardening friend who said it should be pronounced CLEM a tis. Most of the gardeners on TV and radio pronounce it this way – but not all!! I think the jury’s out on this one.
I had to laugh. When I first met a cotoneaster-a lifetime ago-I pronounced it the same way you did. And I got pretty much the same reaction.
Anemones are used by some to predict the weather because of the way the petals curl up before it rains. Of course, they also curl up at night too, so you still have to keep an eye to the sky.
Well — if a horticulturist like you made the same mistake, aren’t I in good company, eh?
I’m going to have to check Anemone’s curls. I didn’t know that about her.
Thanks, Clare. Maybe it’s like tomato and to-mah-to.
Oh I love your Emony! I’ve tried them here but with no success! I enjoyed your post and photos about the “Emony!” Hugs, Natalie ❤
Thanks, Natalie. So glad you like the Emony. Sorry it won’t grow there.
Magnifique ! tendre, doux et léger. J’aime cette fleur et ai l’intention de la planter dans mon jardin. C’est une anémone du Japon, je crois ?
Merci beaucoup , Christiane.
Oui, c’est une anemone du Japon.
Je l’aime aussi.
Anemone is one I have never grown..lovely flower and so much I never knew…..”People like me hail from a strange planet” I often feel my neighbors see me that way since when I am home, I am in the garden all the time…they do comment…when I am not outside, they worry something must be wrong with me-lol……
I remember the “common names” or “nicknames” of plants…..always wished I studied latin in school..then I would sound really smart when I could roll off my tounge their scientific names at a drop of a hat…I could become a plant snob! 🙂
A “plant snob”. I like that. and you sound like a true gardener.
I love some of the common names of plants. Like ‘Joseph’s Coat’ or ‘Snow on the Mountain” and, like you, I rarely know the Latin names.
Thank you, Linda. Nice of you to leave a comment.
My first encounter with them was at my favorite flower shop. I was enthralled by this bunch of white flower with the black center. I brought them home and watched them bloom to their glory. When I woke in the morning, I watched them unfurl. I was sad when they died but grateful for the experience. Blessings and thanks, Lydia
So nice to hear about your first encounter with Emonies (smile), Lydia.
and I like your like sentence: “… sad when they died, but grateful for the experience.” A nugget of wisdom there, about flowers and much more.
Reblogged this on Cynthia Reyes and commented:
The word I heard….
Thanks for the Greek mythology history. I often do not recognize the names of plants when spoken verse written. Then there are those Latin botanical names to add confusion.
I hear you!
Such a beautiful story – lovingly told 🙂
Never heard of it but it is beautiful. I like that -daughter of the wind!
My garden is awash with the (white) anemones my mother planted for me so many years ago. One of my first picture books was Peoples of the World, it was a long time before I realised the country I knew as Egg-ya-putt was the place other people called Eejipt.
Oh, I love the white anemones! They are lovely. And I like your Egg-ya-putt.
Love this – cotton easter always threw me as well and not a particularly delightful plant anyway.
I can arrange flowers and bake bread, but have never successfully grown an
Anemone, though we tried!
You mean to tell me that there’s something you cannot do? I don’t believe it! (smile)
When I started, I called them Coton Easter too 🙂 And too this day, I still cant spell Anemone and much prefer your Emony!
You too, eh! Thanks for telling me!
That’s why I never go out in moonlight at one minute after midnight. I’m kind of bashful when it comes to my tendrils.
Y’know, I can actually believe that about you. Not so much the bashful part, but the tendrils! Thanks for making me laugh.
I never had trouble pronouncing anemone because I heard it said before I saw it written down. That is why as a child, I thought the flower was ‘ An Enemy’ .The wood anemones that grew round us were ‘ Wooden Enemies’ . I was always baffled by this because I thought they were beautiful.
Oh, Chloris! this is the best answer! And the name “Wooden Enemies” takes the cake.
Such a fun post–pesky, funny, troublesome, delightful words and the way we pronounce them!
English is such a tough language, filled with Latin, French, Greek and German words…. I wonder how foreigners grasp it.
Always like to hear your Jamaican sayings.
There are so many of them.
Lovely flowers and thanks for sharing these facts about them Cynthia – I love the ‘daughter of the wind’ name and never knew they were part of the buttercup family.
Me too, Andrea. It was fun discovering these legends.
You are so right about the magic of growing things! It seems so silly but every time I see a seed sprout that I planted myself, I get so happy–like it’s an amazing feat of magic. And it is. 🙂
Oh, how I know this feeling, Lori. It is magic.
Love your story about Cotton Easter 🙂
I have no garden, but I know and love wild Anemones, flowers of my childhood.
Flowers of your childhood, How lovely. I encountered them much later.
Every spring we children went to the woods to pick up anemones. After the long cold winter it was like a special ritual 🙂
I have a small white version of that by my front door. It grew wild in the ditches where I grew up. The leaves look the same, but the flower is different. Is that a cultivated variety. I must confess I pronounce it incorrectly too. I pronounce it like it is spelled.
I didn’t know that they were in the buttercup family. And I love the thought of gardeners being magicians and witches, I knew we were different 🙂
Here’s to you, Lady gardener-magician.