Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chrysanthemum Chorus

In an effort to add more flower power to my fall garden, I added several new hardy chrysanthemum varieties last year.

Chrysanthemum 'Glowing Ember'

These are all (*supposedly*) true perennial chrysanthemum types that really are winter hardy and will return for many years. Of course we have to take any claims about chrysanthemums with a grain (or bucket) of salt, so we'll see.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield'

In this, their first year of bloom, all were small and sparse, but they flowered nicely and did liven up the fall.

Chrysanthemum 'Glowing Ember' with foliage of Ninebark 'Coppertina' behind

Of course, I could also add some fall asters. I do love the flowers - especially the blues! But I have a zero tolerance policy for yucky mildewy foliage, and am also not thrilled with the idea of digging and dividing those suckers every other year. Hopefully the hardy chrysanths will fill the gap.

Chrysanthemum 'Mammoth Lavender'

I was mightily impressed by 'Mammoth Lavender', which, despite not being the 'Mammoth Coral' that I had actually ordered, had REALLY huge flowers and bloomed profusely for what seemed like forever, from early September to late October! It was truly a stunner in the garden. Now watch this be the one that doesn't pull through the winter...

Chrysanthemum 'Mary Stoker'. Foliage of tree peony, iris cristata, and geranium wlassovianum behind.

I planted 'Mary Stoker' here next to the geranium wlassovianum, because I thought its butter yellow blooms would look ravishing next to the blue/purple geranium. Naturally, the geranium was all bloomed out by the time Mary got going in late September. HOWEVER, the yellow flowers with red geranium foliage actually ended up being a more pleasing color combo than the one I had planned.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield'

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Yellow'

The coral-pink 'Sheffield' was planted two seasons ago, but since I thought it hadn't returned last year, I "replaced" it with its cousin 'Sheffield Yellow' (which is really more of a peach) in the same spot. It turned out both plants were alive and kicking, and ended up growing all tiggledy-piggledy on top of one another. I'm going to have to move one (if I can separate them!) - ack, how to decide. Both bloomed from late September into October last year.

Chrysanthemum 'Glowing Ember' and Ninebark 'Coppertina'

Finally, last to bloom for me (in mid-November last year - although it was a warm, late Autumn) was 'Glowing Ember'.  It had very lovely dark buds of an unusual deep coral red color, followed by oddly shaped rusty peach blooms. I liked it with the deep red-burgundy of the nearby ninebark. If both of these fill out in the future, the effect should be lovely.


  1. Hi Rebecca,
    I enjoyed seeing the different mums you planted. I hope they all come up this spring, when it finally gets there. It's not quite here yet, but at least we are having a few days above 60 degrees. Thanks for visiting my blog. The seed pod is on an orange blooming milkweed.

  2. I think Chrysanthemum 'Mammoth Lavender' is the best, Rebecca. Lovely color and shape. I grow it in my garden as well and always enjoy them in fall. Good choise!

  3. I like chrysanthemums, they are an important part of the autumn flowers, I hope yours are coming back for you, they all look lovely.
    What types of chrysanthemums are these? They look very different to the tall and bushy types I am used to seeing over here in Britain.

    1. Most are Chrysanthemum rubellum (aka chrysanthemum koreana) types, or hybrids of this with something else. They're not the finicky "mums" we can buy in grocery stores here in the U.S., which are not hardy. They should get bigger and bushier with time - this is their first year in my garden. I'm not sure what kind of chrysanthemums are commonly grown in Britain!

  4. Some very pretty chrysanthemums, like Helene, I am not familiar with them. I have a similar dislike to the Asters for the exact same reason, they don't do well in my garden. I hope they meet with your expectations.

  5. Your chyrsanthemums are lovely. Very delicate and sweet-looking. I hope yours pull through the winter. It seems this winter would be "the" test for anything returning!

  6. What lovely colors of mums you have! They make me smile, so beautiful.


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