Saturday, October 6, 2012
Autumn Chrysanthemums And Spring Hope
Fall and chrysanthemums are a perfect match. Most of the garden is well past but mums give one last splash of color. Reputable catalogs list most mums as hardy to zone 5. Our zone 4 placement presents real challenges to over wintering these plants. Firestorm was new to us last year. This spring the single purchased plant looked almost totally dead. Despite the temptation to compost the remains, I placed four tiny bits of plant in pots. All four are alive and flowering. We are hopeful that this one will return again next spring.
Nor'easter is new to us this year. Bluestone Perennials offers a wide collection of mums in the spring. Small potted divisions give the gardener the chance to shape their own plants. Also a season in the garden rather than confined to a pot allows these plants to establish a normal root mass. We have had almost no success carrying over fall purchased plants. We hope for new spring growth from these plants. Much will depend on the winter. The drought of '56 was followed by record snowfall. We shall see what happens here following the drought of '12.
Daisy Rose is also in its first year here. Encouraged by our fabulous success with Clara Curtis mums we hope that daisy type mums will be more hardy than other types. Spring will provide results that will give us some help with future purchases.
Debutante is also new to us this year. Color alone makes this one a great choice. We have it planted with white flowered varieties. A bright yellow mum has yet to be found. I would like the right yellow planted with Debutante. That may happen next year.
This is the only plant purchased from Bluestone that failed to thrive. Once again I was reluctant to compost the dead remains. The nearly empty potted mass was set out in the garden. We have four small new plants heading into winter. After the ground freezes a light airy twig mulch will cover these plants. We fully expect to see green growth here come spring.