Windflowers, unfurl their petals in the morning light, lifting their face to bask in the sun. When the day fades to dusk, their petals close, once again, in patient wait for dawn’s light. As nature’s timekeepers they can reminder the gardener, caught up in her work, that the day is passing.
Silvia often lost track of time in her garden, and could be seen for hours-on-end, weeding her flower beds lost in thoughts. In her writing, she mentions being caught up in memories or pondering a dilemma while out in her garden, an experience familiar to most gardeners when working with their hands outdoors. The rhythm lulls you into reminiscence or a rambling sort of pondering. It is these moments of reflection while gardening in which you often hear the soft breath of intuition, as if an understanding has been brought on the wind.
The common name for Anemone nemorosa, windflower is derivative of the Greek anemone, meaning “the wind’s daughter”. In Silvia’s garden, her daughters of the wind made playful dance beneath the blossoms of her apple tree. In my garden they skip around the primrose, spreading farther, a little more each year, with the breath of Silvia.
In the United States the Anemone nemerosa is often called windflower or wood anemone. In Estonia the word for anemone is “Vösaülane”, although commonly called lumekellukeseks (“snowballs). They are easy to grow, especially in damp locations and naturalize quickly by spreading rhizome. The entire plant naturally fades back to the soil with the approach of summer, thus the term, spring ephemeral.
Should you wish to plant these in your garden, you may want to take care in handling the plants, as some people report skin irritations upon handling, although I have never had any complaint when planting. It should also be noted that they are from the buttercup family and are highly poisonous, although at one time, with knowledge of dosage, they were used for medicine.