Anemones, commonly referred to as windflowers, have delicate stems that are easily damaged. Always handle them gently and support the stems when making fresh cuts. Anemones usually last for between three and five days. When they first arrive, the anemone blooms are usually closed. Remove them from their wrapping and cut any bands that are holding them together. Fill a vase with water (room-temperature or cool water will work just fine) and make diagonal cuts on the stems - between 1 and 2 inches - to remove older greenery and create an open channel for water. Be sure to use a sharp knife or pair of scissors - dull blades won't give a crisp cut and could actually damage the stems. Once you're finished, immediately place the flowers in water so the stems don't fill with air.
Because the stems are fragile and the blooms aren't yet open, the flowers may droop over the side of the vase; it's important to choose a vase that offers the proper support. Make sure it offers adequate space for the blooms to open. As with any other bouquet, remove foliage that falls below the water line and keep the vase clear of dead leaves. Place your arrangement in a cool area free of heating vents and direct sunlight. For best results, cut the stems and change the water daily.
For flowers as beautiful as anemones, they symbolize some rather dark themes, such as forsakenness and abandonment. According to Greek mythology, when Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, lost Adonis, she cried over his grave and from her tears bloomed anemones. In Eastern cultures, people believe they represent illness, death and bad luck, while Europeans believe the opposite - that they prevent disease and protect you from bad luck. Because they close at night and bloom in morning light, anemones also represent new beginnings and anticipation. They make a nice bouquet for someone who's experiencing change, such as embarking on a new career or buying a house. They're also a good choice for a get-well gift because Western culture believes they ward off disease.