It’s almost chrysanthemums time! They’ve have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, partly due I think to this social media post from a few years back by Erin Benzakein who runs a 2 acre flower farm and seed company, Floret Flowers in Mount Vernon, Washington. Her image of dahlia flowers in buckets on the back of her pickup truck cheered everyone up. In continental Europe they were traditionally grown to flower for All Saints Day, a day in the calendar celebrated with fresh flowers, particularly the autumnal shades of chrysanthemums. And now when summer bedding is fading, chrysanthemum balls add a welcome eye-catching display to the patio garden that continues throughout the autumn. Where to plant them: Ball chrysanthemumare covered in hundreds and hundreds of small individual blooms, flowering so profusely that eventually the foliage is completely hidden. They are great dropped into pots either side of the front door, or planted into containers on the balcony or terrace for that splash of late summer colour. These plants are available in a wide colour range, including softer shades of pink, lilac and white, but also rich autumnal shades of yellows, golds, reds and deep purples, so you are bound to find the right colour shade to complement your home or garden. Being easy to care for, they simply require a sunny or partially shaded spot & regular watering directly into the pot to ensure they don’t dry out. Remove spent flowers & apply a liquid feed to the watering can every couple of weeks to ensure flowering from late Summer through to the first frosts of winter. Once flowering has finished, keep protected from hard frosts, either by overwintering in a cool greenhouse or planting into the border & mulching to keep the worst of the cold weather at bay. In early spring, trim back to a few inches to encourage fresh bushy growth for the new season.
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