Since Anemone 'Wild Swan' won the Chelsea Plant of the Year competition in 2011, a number of attractive anemone cultivars in a similar style have been introduced. The latest has flowers that show more far doubling than any of the others.
‘Frilly Knickers’ is like a much more double-flowered version of 'Dreaming Swan', which itself can be seen as a slightly double-flowered version of 'Wild Swan'.
‘Frilly Knickers’ reaches about 50cm in height and flowers from June to October.
Recently the variety overwhelmingly won the Visitors’ Choice award at the Virtual Plant Awards, the lockdown version of the annual New Plant Awards. It was discovered by Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. She told me all about it.
“‘Frilly Knickers’ is a reliably clump-forming plant, whose large purple buds open to a mass of white petals,” she said. “Back in 2015 I noticed that a side shoot on one of our plants of 'Dreaming Swan' was different, with large purple buds that opened to incredible large, double flowers. The reverse is a beautiful lilac and that can be seen as a faint colour in the open flower that definitely has a purple tint to the white. It really stood out from the rest of the crop.
“It was a sport, a side growth on one plant. It’s always a challenge to split a piece off from a mother plant and ensure it remains viable but it was carefully split off and grown on.
“The beauty of this anemone is that it is a clump former making it useful in even a small garden,” said Rosy. “It has a good length of flowering season and can be grown in a container. Plant it in sun or part shade; it can also tolerate quite a few different soil types, and is a good all rounder for late season colour. It holds itself up well in the front or the middle of a border.”
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS. Plant names in this article have been styled for clarity; for full taxonomy please follow the links given to RHS Find a Plant