Like best friends, anemones are generous and tolerant. In my garden, they don't demand much attention, then surprise me with a flush of blossoms—simple, elegant, and abundant. I have both white and pink varieties of fall-blooming anemones (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica). They hang on through the heat and drought of the summer months, their triangular, deep green, scalloped leaves filling in shady spaces between summer blooming phlox and hibiscus. Once the days get shorter and the nights cooler in September, they outdo themselves. The long stems topped with simple circles of white or pink petals float above the leaves. When the autumn breeze kicks up, the flowers dip and dance to their own tune. I look out the dining room window across the disheveled back garden, and they seem to be waving to me encouragingly. They often blossom into November, but I don't cut them back till spring so the spare geometry of their dry stalks can enliven the winter garden. That way, I also get to enjoy their unusual seedpods—bundles of fluffy fibers dotted with black seeds that look like artfully embroidered cushions. Cozy and utterly friendly.