I was dissatisfied with my flower beds this summer. In their second summer, the plants were larger and the beds fuller, but it’s becoming clear that I am no garden designer. Lots of things turned out to be taller or shorter than I’d imagined, and I realize now that I chose flowers-flowers-flowers with no eye to greenery or fullness or lushness. All of the flower beds need mitigation.


So here’s my grand plan, tell me if it makes sense: the back border should have, more or less, a row of garden mums in the front and a row of summer perennials (meaning coneflowers, bee balm and gaillardia) in the back, all with spring bulbs planted among them. The bulbs bloom early, the perennials bloom in the middle and are held up by the growing chrysanthemum foliage in front of them, then the perennial stems get cut down as the mums start to bloom. It’s all more or less deer-resistant and I get blooms all season.


I hope you approve, because yesterday I did it. Amelia and I hit a couple of different stories and procured 14 garden mums in 5 colors, and a couple hundred spring bulbs–daffodils, alliums, dutch iris, grape hyacinth and giant crocus. Then we skeedaddled home, and as a cold front blew in, I planted all 14 mums and most of the bulbs. Mimi placidly watched from her chair, sniffing the wind.


I already had six varieties of football mums in shades of orange, pink, and cream. I also already had a stand of orange garden mums. The new colors are cream, pink-white, purple, crimson and copper.


I’m just not a fan of yellow flowers, what can I say. So no yellow mums for me.


I think it’s going to look really great next fall, if they all live. Or even if they mostly live. I’ll certainly have a ton of flowers in my garden!


I’m running out of stuff to say before I run out of pictures of mums.


Phew. There. Done. The cream garden mums, and four of the six football mums, haven’t bloomed yet. Maybe in another week…


And Amelia was glad to get back inside, where there are floor registers and boxes to play with. She’s getting good at scooting backwards on her belly. It’s giving me a tiny, tiny taste of what things will be like when she starts moving fast… phew. I feel tired already.


2 thoughts on “Chrysanthemums

  1. Pingback: Kat’s Kaleidoscoped Khrysanthemums « Quilts by Joyce

  2. Thank you for the lovely photos of mums. Living where I have to enclose every plant in wire top and bottom in order to have a chance at survival, critters, it is a wonderful glimpse at fall, even vicariously.

    And good luck on the sweater, it should be cute.

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