There were a few raindrops on the roof last night, I’m sure of it. In fact there was light rain lingering in the morning, enough so that I put off going next door to help dig holes for a fence moving project (I really didn’t need much of an excuse to put that off….). By the time late-afternoon rolled around and bowling and hole digging was done for the day, the garden looked as dry as ever. The only plants still looking somewhat fresh are the chrysanthemums.
I might have to spread the good cheer of chrysanthemums around the garden a little more next spring. It’s hard to think fall flowers in May but they really do stand up to a lot of abuse, and by abuse I mean bone dry soil and little attention from me for pretty much the entire growing season.
Potted mums are always a nice autumn treat, but my success in overwintering them has been hit or miss. This spring I dabbled in the world of hardier chrysanthemums by ordering a few rooted cuttings from Faribault Growers in Minnesota. They offer “Mums from Minnesota” which are mums developed and grown locally for the harsher winters of the upper Midwest. I’m afraid I might have to order a few more this spring, I really like how they worked out… even though I don’t think I have room for any more!
This spring I opted for mostly ‘novelty’ types with quilled and spooned petals. I like them well enough but I think what I really want are a few fat, football types. I’m not saying I’ll fertilize, stake and disbud to get the largest of show blooms, but I did try out a single football type this summer and loved it most of all (please don’t tell the others). I think I need more 😉
Hopefully no one has been offended by my use of the name ‘chrysanthemum’ for these flowers. The new genus name is ‘dendranthema’ of course and I’m not thrilled with learning a new trick. Will they also no longer be mums? I guess we can call them mas, but that doesn’t seem as catchy even though it does still gives mom her due.
The only other thing I’ve been enjoying in the garden lately is the one lonely patch of garden which has been receiving regular water. I planted it up with lettuce transplants found at my favorite local nursery and according to my calculations I’ll need to pick approximately 8 salads from this patch in order to make it a worthwhile investment.
But like they say: price of transplants- $5, having a tiny fall garden patch- priceless….. unless you still add in the time, compost, watering 🙂