Mid-Atlantic

September, 2005
Regional Report

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Winter Injury
Many gardeners wonder what they need to do this fall to protect their plants from winter injury, such as direct cold and frost damage, dessication, sunscald, frost cracks, frost heaving, or snow and ice breakage. These sound scary, but in most cases a good layer of mulch over the root area (not touching the bark or stems) should be adequate, assuming you are growing plants that are considered reliably winter hardy in your area. However, winter damage can sometimes occur to susceptible new plants or to plants in special situations. This Winter Injury Factsheet from Cornell University will help you understand the risks and causes of damage so you can evaluate your plantings and plan ahead for any special steps you need to take.

Favorite or New Plant

Japanese Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' is a hardy perennial (to zone 4) that has grown well for me year in and year out. Not surprisingly, it is considered an heirloom plant and has been in gardens here since the 19th century. In my low-maintenance garden, it has survived extreme droughts as well as the occasional wetter-than-normal year, although it does prefer an evenly moist (not wet) soil in winter. It grows well for me when planted in full morning sun or in very bright dappled light all day (some references suggest full sun), and it prefers rich, organic soil with a generous layer of organic mulch.

It has spread somewhat by rhizomes, but I would not call it too aggressive because it is such a wonderful plant in the garden. (If you tend to be generous with water and nutrients, it may spread more than you would like.) Allow it about 2 feet across and expect to see it grow over 3 feet tall.

It has healthy dark green foliage all summer and blooms for weeks and weeks in the fall. The plump, rounded buds and crisp, white, single flowers are held high above the foliage on elegant stems. The flowers dip and swirl like tethered butterflies in the gusty autumn breezes.

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