Nurseries and roadside stands are filled with tidy pots of tidy chrysanthemums, but I planted a collection of these fall bloomers in my Circle Garden this spring. The chrysanthemum family is so various in form, as well as color, that I wanted to branch out a little. My collection of six from Bluestone Perennials got whittled down to three because of rabbits! Fortunately, a reader suggested black netting which discouraged the bunnies, but ineptly placed as it was, it tangled the plants making the usual pinching and pruning impossible. Still, look at these blooms. Undeterred by the frost we on Wednesday night.
‘Joanette is a quilled mum, which means the petals are like little tubes, which do not show up very well in my photo. “Starlet’ is a spoon mum, which means the tip of the petal is a little spoon shape that narrows down to a rolled tube in the center. This provides a little more interest and fun to the fall garden than a neat pot of fall mums. Don’t you think? These varieties make it clear why the Chinese consider chrysanthemums the symbol of autumn.
To see even more spectacular mums than you will ever find in my garden, click here for my post about the fabulous KIKU exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden two years ago. To see some unusual and beautiful mums yourself be sure and visit the Lyman Plant House at Smith College for their Annual Chrysanthemum Show beginning on November 6.