Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Even if you don't like mums

Yes, even if you hate chrysanthemums - and I know there are a lot of you out there - you'll at least find Longwood Gardens' Chrysanthemum Festival (till Nov. 18) interesting. I did, and I'm one of you.

Even if you don't like mums

Yes, even if you hate chrysanthemums - and I know there are a lot of you out there - you'll at least find Longwood Gardens' Chrysanthemum Festival (till Nov. 18) interesting. I did, and I'm one of you.

This is the Thousand Bloom mum - actually, more than 1,000 blooms on a single stem. If you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty impressive. This training style is considered the most difficult of all. Takes 18 months of pinching and tying and otherwise brutalizing a plant to transform it into this regimented dome of cookie-cutter uniformity. It's far from natural. It's a lot like bonsai, another ancient art that leaves me cold, but the end product can be fascinating to examine up close.

Longwood festival features 20,000 blooming chrysanthemums in the conservatory, where I was lucky enough to attend the Christian McBride jazz concert on Saturday night. Now THAT'S a reason to go - and wander among the mums, some of which did manage to wow me.

Just not the 1,000-bloom guy.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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