Back in March I blogged about starting a new romance with the old-fashioned, Chrysanthemum and I'm here to report that for a first year romance there were very few bumps and blips with plenty of beautiful moments in the sun. This infatuation with November's Flower of mine isn't going away anytime soon! In fact, I think I'm falling deeper and deeper in love with these late fall bloomers.
I first noticed them on the covers of vintage seed packets like this one from Pinterest, below.
I absolutely adore vintage seed packet and botanical prints. They provide the perfect visual as to how I feel about flowers in general.
I started with an order of about 12 plants ( 5 varieties ) from Kings Mums to plant outside in one of my 4 x 12 raised beds. The plugs arrive about 5 inches tall. I planted them in late May after the danger of the last frost.
By late August they had grown quite a bit and were starting to set buds. I didn't cut them back before hand, nor did I pinch or dis bud any of the plants. I just let them be this first go round. Next season, I'll cut them back in July to about 8- 12 inches in height before they set buds. This will make the plant fuller with more buds as it continues to grow. They do need staking as they get quite tall! Next year I'll bring out the 5 footers.
Mums aren't like other flowers that set buds and bloom soon afterwards. They set buds when the plant is fairly short and continues to grow taller sending out side branches with more buds.They didn't actually bloom until October and November, which is their true bloom time. Fast forward to November and they are blooming like crazy!
Here's a sampling of what I harvested last week.
|Bronze, obsession, seatons j dore, seatons ashleigh and seatons ruby|
I decided to use some of my vintage milk glass to make some simple backyard bouquets. I think it shows off the mums beautifully.
I love that they overlap with the bloom time of dahlias and I'm crazy about the fact that they extend my growing season by 4 weeks. I don't have much in the way of seasonal flowers for sale fro, April - July. New England spring weather is very fickle and I just don't have the space to devote to finicky early bloomers but I can see making room for more mums in the future. Besides being hardy plants, the amount of blooms per stem is off the hook, making them perfect for garden bunches, farmers markets, farm stands and wedding work. I'll have the confidence to make it known that I have mums next season, for sure.
|Seatons J Dore|
|Seaton's J Dore|
Kings Mums offers a wide range of books for every level of grower from amateurs to advanced gardeners and those who cultivate and show.