All the random wandering around the garden with camera in hand have surely raised an eyebrow or two in my neighborhood and I’m sure neighbors question how I can focus on so many things without stopping for even one selfie. For the last month though I wonder if anyone has noticed how normal things have been? For whatever reason I’ve been just fine looking and not photographing and as a result there’s next to no record of October to blog about. So it’s been quiet around here. Lets see if we can change that, and let’s see if the last of the chrysanthemums will do the trick!
The last few years have seen an unexpected interest in one of the least interesting plants I grow. Pots of disposable mums fill every grocery and DYI store and farmstand at this time of year and the rounded blobs of color shouldn’t really do anything for my gardening passion…. but they do, and I’m not really sure where this came from. As usual I blame the internet.
It started innocently enough with trying to overwinter a few of the seasonal color pots which we came across at various nurseries and farmstands, and it grew from there. I wanted to give something more reliable (and interesting) a try and found Mums of Minnesota and their University of Minnesota introductions. If it grows in Minnesota it should work here, right?
Besides spending the last couple years adding named mums to the garden I also grew on a few seedlings. It’s surprising how nice a mum you can get from a few old seedheads, and they’re fast and easy!
So far they’ve been overwintering well with no effort on my part, but some are far hardier than others. One of the hardiest are the seedlings of ‘Innocence’ which I grew from HPS seed exchange seeds. They do need trimming in July to control height (or staking… if you’re into that kind of stuff) but otherwise they’re carefree.
Some of the odd petal forms even show up in the seedlings. I like this unusual mix of orange with just a touch of pink on this spoon shaped petal. We’ll see how this one looks next year with a little more room.
Besides loving the surprises of new seedlings I’ve also become smitten by the fat football types. I was surprised by their hardiness last year and of course had to add a few more this spring, and even though they were rudely crammed into the edges of the vegetable garden they’ve still put on a halfway decent show.
This is the time of year when preparations begin for next year, and although a harsh, early freeze put an end to much of the garden’s chrysanthemum show I’m still excited about these newest additions and am already looking forward to next season. According to the grower’s website some of these will put out 5+ inch blooms if properly cared for and disbudded, and even though this also means staking I might just give it a try next year. A couple potfuls of big football mums might be just the thing our front porch needs 🙂