Spurred on by Sarah Raven’s mega sale in the spring, this year we have tried growing a few chrysanthemums. They came to us as plug plants so are still quite small. In a perfect world we would have pinched out the growing tip to encourage a bushy plant but somehow in the excitement it was forgotten and they are therefore somewhat leggy. This aside they are doing well and next year I have every faith they will be splendid. Although the others are in bud this is the first one to flower and is named Bruno Bronze. The name chrysanthemum comes from the greek meaning golden flower which was the colour of the original uncultivated plant. It has been cultivated since the 15th century BC in China where it is known as Ju and symbolises long life and is associated with the ninth month in the year. It is traditionally one of the four honourable plants along with plum, orchid and bamboo. It was exported to Japan where it was adopted by the royal family as its emblem. It has been a prominent feature in all forms of art in the orient – poetry, art and ceramics. Apparently 20 years ago they were grown as cut flowers in this garden.
To be honest I needed to be convinced about the merits of these plants but if this is an indication of the other specimens yet to flower I am definitely pleasantly surprised. The point I’m trying to get to is when it comes down to it we all love our mums (even if she criticises your blog every now and again).