This is my fourth year growing heirloom mums, and each year it gets more addicting. With the exception of roses and dahlias, it is hard to find another flower that comes in more shapes and colors and styles then heirloom mums.
Bluestone Perennials says it well on their website, “Chrysanthemum are Queen of the Fall Flowers. Few plants can rival mums for beautiful fall color.”
For this article I want to focus on why designers and flower enthusiasts should take another look at this flower for either your event or your home bouquets. Search these beauties out at your local farmers market or farm because you will be hard pressed to find a flower that will have the vase life of mums.
Four things I want to focus on: Uniqueness for your designs, color variety, longevity, and availability of mums as local seasonally grown flowers.
Each year I chose new varieties to add to the garden on two things: color and uniqueness — I love trying all the different classes of mums (13 classes to be exact).
The above photo shows four different varieties of mums. Where some make good fill flowers, other makes amazing focal flowers like the spiders.
Mixed with dahlias, roses and varies greenery, the mums add an unexpected element to bouquets.
In the late fall as the dahlias fade, there are few flowers that can provide such a large color range in October to November. Not limited to just “fall colors”, there are mums in all color palates from the soft pink-cream-blush of Seatons Jadore, to burgundy metallic. What makes mums unique is their colors seem to have either depth, variation of shade, or a luminous/metallic shimmer to them. They will make your flower arrangements pop with colors that change with the light. If a bride needs blush and cream, there are options, likewise, if it’s a wedding in saturated fall jewel colors, there are mums to fill those shades.
Coral charm and Seatons Jadore with Apricot Alexis make a soft blush and pink bouquet.
Seatons Jadore can be great substitute of Cafe Au Lait dahlias are not available.
Traditional Fall colors of burgundies, oranges and red shades.
Bronze Fleece changes color from bronze to this paler pink shade with its orange center.
This beautiful metallic purple is just stunning, named Moira.
If color and uniqueness weren’t enough to convince you to try mums in your designs, then their longevity should seal the deal. These flowers can last up to two weeks in the cooler. They are sturdy enough to use in bouquets, corsages and flower crowns. The below buckets were picked on a Tuesday for a weeding that weekend. Blooms that weren’t used could easily be held in the color to use in other projects.
Coral charm is a prolific bloomer and changes colors as the flower fades. The flowers have a luminescent quality and each petal being a little different shade of coral pink with a green eye center.
LOCAL SEASONAL FLOWERS
Just as the other flowers like dahlias are winding down, these amazing flowers start to come on the scene from late September to November, and they last until the first hard frost which ever comes first. Although you can find heirloom mums at the wholesaler or in the grocery store, most never come close to the amazing variety that can bought from your local farm. These beautiful flowers allow farmers to have a whole extra month of gorgeous blooms that carry them into the holiday season with evergreens and wreaths, and they give the customer unique flowers through fall and almost up to Thanksgiving.
This bouquet mixes late season dahlias with mums, verbana, and roses.
Another bouquet featuring dahlias, roses, mums, and various greenery.
If you have a wedding or event in late September through early November, check with your local flower farmers to see if they will be growing heirloom mums and give this amazing flower a try.