I’m afraid I can’t tell you the name of these cheery old-fashioned mums, but I thought an attempt to show their hardiness and spectacular fall color and reliability was in order. Can I encourage you to not worry too much about having only plants with formal names?
10/4/12 addendum: these may be “Yellow Sheffield“.
Many a garden is often made up of transplant gifts from friends, happy finds from the wild, and occasionally an orphaned plant a nursery is going to throw away. Many a favorite has had it’s given name lost in antiquity!
Years ago, a fellow-gardener had some of these mums growing in her cottage garden and shared by pulling up some stems with root hairs attached! The flower tops even broke off, but I stuck the rootlets in water and planted the best ones later that week. It wasn’t a big deal then, but for that little effort, there sure has been a sparkling payback!
No sun for almost 3 days now…photo taken in the rain.
Usually, mums are supposed to be pruned or sheared (I call it giving them a haircut) on or around the Fourth of July, but this year I decided to forgo that step and see what would happen. The result is a happy, rounded golden yellow mound! It is not floppy at all! I can’t say that it will be that way for other mums or that it will be that way next year if a sudden wind rips at its brittle stems.
Also my vases can get lonely at this time as the other flowers are usually becoming more bedraggled. Mums aren’t a messy flower, leaving pollen and debris on your table! (The stems are brittle and break off nicely with a flick of the wrist for the vase).
Below is another old-fashioned pink mum blooming right now in the garden, again un-named! We’ve had this for almost 30 years and taken starts everywhere we’ve moved. It is more free-form, not mounded at all. It spreads under the soil and sends out new branches in a very fetching way ~ a lovely, exuberant, and joyful plant.
In the shade at sunrise…
The tight buds form in August, slightly enlarging ~ but holding ~ until late September, and they begin their starry show, opening one flower at a time. I remember an early snow covered them for 2 days one early November, and they still held their vibrant pink color.
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” ~Isaiah 55: 12
On an overcast afternoon…
Winter will inevitably come ~ sooner than we think ~ and the flowers will be gone. I must be content with thoughts of spring.
“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” ~ Psalm 103: 15-18