Psssst… I’ve got a secret. I don’t like mums. I know, I know, stop with the outcry – every gardener has flowers they just don’t like, and mums are one of mine. (Begonias are another.) Why? I can’t say, really. When I lived up north, I hated the first sight of mums at the nurseries in the fall, because I knew that the cold and seemingly endless days of winter weren’t far behind. (I am not a winter person.) So it made sense that I disliked them then. Now that I live in Florida, though, you’d think I would love mums, since they signal the first cool and delightful days of fall after the stickiness of summer. Still… nope. Just don’t like them. Until last week, that is, when this beauty entered my life:
One look, and I was in love with a mum for the first time ever. It arrived on a delivery truck to the butterfly garden where I work (yup, butterflies do love to nectar on mums), where it was described on the invoice as “Assorted 8″ Mums”. I would never have guessed such a dull-sounding line on a piece of paper could have brought me these lovely soft blooms. I was in love.
A little research turned up the variety name. They’re a double-flowered garden chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum x morifolium) called Jaqueline Peach Fusion. The Jacqueline line was created by the Yoder Brothers, a horticulture company in Barberton, Ohio… just a few miles from where I grew up! This particular variety, Peach Fusion, was introduced in 2012, long after I’d left the Buckeye State for warmer climes. Perhaps, if I’d seen these pink and yellow blooms each fall as a kid, I wouldn’t have developed such a strong dislike of mums. Who knows?
At any rate, I’m still wary of other mums. That orange variety in the photo above really doesn’t do anything for me. I’m still not wild about the stiff formality of mums themselves; I prefer my garden flowers to be a bit more graceful and wild-looking. But these mums may have just changed my mind. Enough to buy some for myself? I’m not sure. Mums don’t really work as perennials this far south; our hot summers do them in and you rarely get them to re-flower. But I’m awfully tempted by Jacqueline Peach Fusion, that’s for sure. Can you blame me?