Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chrysanthemum Festival I

The Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood gardens outside Philadelphia is the largest
display of mums outside Japan.  These are all show mums, grown for artistic and aesthetic
purposes, not for your ordinary garden.  They are all in greenhouses, and this is the
largest of the conservatories.  There were 17,000 mums on display here last week.

This is inside the front doors - blankets and a ball of yellow mums, large beds of white
Shasta mums, yellow Edo mums, and two 500 Flower Domes of lavender mums.  Each
of these domes is only a single chrysanthemum plant.

This is looking in the opposite direction toward the Orangery, with Yellow Balls of Mums
and red curtains of mums.

Looking to the East, you can see White Mum  Balls and topiary trees of Gumdrop Mums.

All of these blossoms of Kokka Hougiku are on a single mum plant
supported on these iron armature.  It takes a year of training to achieve this.

Close-up of Kokka Hougiku blossoms on one plant.

Another single Kokka Hougiku crysanthemum trained to display 500 flowers.

These huge crowns are on White Shasta Mums, where all side flowers have been
pinched off so all the energy goes to the top, single flower.  They are 9 inches across.

The beautiful head of a single White Shasta Chrysanthemum, one flower per stem.

In the background is a bush of "Butter Creme Senna."  In front are the
White Shasta Chrysanthemums.

This is a totally new variety of mum known so far only as "Edo 16."  These new varieties
are noted for their irregularity and twisted petals.

Another example of "Edo 16";  every flower is different.

A blanket of yellow mums wrapped around a column.

This White Ball of Mums is about four feet in diameter, is made of an iron armature
with several mum plants growing inside.  A number of these hang from the ceiling and are
lowered on pulleys each day to be watered.

The Easter Half of the Main Conservatory.  An aisle goes all around with beds of mums
on both sides.  We will walk there next.

The Northeast Aisle is lined with white "Icey Isle" mums on one side with topiary trees of
"Gumdrop Chrysanthemums."  That is a single mum plant, trained to be a tree, and then
pruned so that it fills out only on top.

"Icey Isle" white chrysanthemums.  They were snow white and prolific.

"Icey Isle" white chrysanthemums.

Northeast Aisle with "Icey Isle" white mums, yellow "Marguerite Daisies," and
topiary trees of "Gumdrop" anemone mums.

A topiary tree of "Gumdrop Anemone Chrysanthemums."  That is a single mum plant,
trained to bloom only on top; all other buds and leaves were pinched off.

Down below, on both sides, were "Crimson Tide" chrysanthemums - the big,
beautiful "football" mums.

"Crimson Tide" irregular in-curve chrysanthemums.  Notice how all the
petals curve to the inside, but irregularly.

"Crimson Tide Chrysanthemum"

Looking back to the center and the Orangery to the North from the East Aisle.
Notice the Red Blanket Mums, Yellow Ball Mums, and Gumdrop Topiary Mums.

"Icey Isle" white mums.

Along the East Aisle was this magnificent single mum plant topiary of red "Kurume" mums.
They are not growing from that tree, but thin stems of the chrysanthemum plant can be seen
along the trunk and tied to it.  This is a single red plant, pinched and pruned so that it
only shows flowers at certain points.  This takes a year of training and preparation.

"Candid" chrysanthemums along the aisle were a rich cocoa color.

When the sun streamed in, the cocoa color seemed browner.

"Candid" Chrysanthemum head.

The East Aisle with a variety of chrysanthemums blooming.

Baskets of "Tradescantia" hanging and "Sir Galahad" Mums below.  The Festival runs
from Oct. 22 to Nov. 24, and as flowers begin to droop, they are replaced overnight with
totally new plants just coming into full bloom.   I saw wholly new varieties of mums
appear each day.

Along the East Aisle, the "Zaryah Spider Mums" were some of the most special.

This is a single "Zaryah Spider Mum," about 12 inches across.  Only one flower is allowed
to grow on each plant, and all the other buds are pinched off so all the energy goes into
the only spectacular flower on each plant.

The bed of "Sir Galahad" mums was one of those to appear on my second day,
as if from nowhere, but actually from one of the 60 working greenhouses in back.

"Zaryah Spider Chrysanthemum"

"Sir Galahad Chrysanthemums"

A bed of "Zaryah Spider Mums."

"Statesman" bright yellow anemone mums filled the beds.

"Yellow Megumi Chrysanthemum" topiary trees; each is a single plant.

"Yellow Megumi Topiary Trees" - a single plant

"Powder Puff Chrysanthemums" - theya re about four inches in diameter.
These plants produce many blossoms on each plant.

"Powder Puff Chrysanthemums."