This barely explains my desire to be a Chinese language/International Relations double major in college. It's also probably why it's so hard for me to pass up the great harbinger of Fall - the Chrysanthemum.
I may have mentioned before that the chrysanthemum is one of the ”Four Gentlemen” (四君子: Sì Jūn Zi) in classical Chinese.
They are as follows:
- Spring - Orchid (蘭花: Lan Hua)
- Summer - Bamboo (竹: Zhu )
- Autumn - Chrysanthemum (菊花: Ju Hua)
- Winter - Plum (梅花: Mei Hua)
My garden is certainly not a Chinese garden, but I have tried to use plants found in one. There are lots of Mums and Orchids already growing in my garden. I have a "borrowed scenery" Plum (they are so messy) across the street in the front and I have opted not to incorporate 竹 in my garden (as I'm afraid of most of them)!
When I see Mums blooming at the garden center or grocery store, I always have to grab a few new ones to ensure my long life and happiness.
They just teleport into my cart.
Apparently, Chrysanthemum's in addition to being ornamental and medicinal, are also magical.
Every year they come out with some new fancy color just to tempt me. I have so many now that I can't tell them apart color-wise. Most of the time their names don't help either. "White Daisy" is pretty easy to spot in the garden, but "Spicy Cheryl" or "Foxy Marjorie" are a tad bit more confusing.
At this point, they're all just "garden mums" to me, but for a few exotics and one species with gray foliage and yellow flowers.
|Chrysanthemum 'Red Daisy'|
|Chrysanthemum 'Plum Crazy'|
|Chrysanthemum 'Spicy Cheryl'|
|Chrysanthemum 'White Daisy'|
|Unknown variety - but it's pretty stunning.|
|Chrysanthemum Show at Division Street Portland Nursery.|
A variety that I particularly loved when I saw it at a show was an intermediate incurve Mum named "Gertrude". Each petal has tiny hair-like pubescences covering it, giving the flower a hairy/fluffy look.
|Chrysanthemum 'Gertrude' at the Mum Show.|
|My Chrysanthemum 'Gertrude' with buds. I could have removed all those side buds, leaving just the center one.|
|'Gertrude' got pretty floppy when we had lots or rain a few weeks ago and needed a stake.|
|Close up of Gerty! You can just see the little hairy parts.|
|Chrysanthemum 'Quan Yon Hung' unfurling in the Autumn sun.|
|Chrysanthemum 'Quan Yon
Hung' (Irregular Incurve Mum) bud slowly opening.|
|Chrysanthemum 'Judith Baker' (Quill Mum) in bud. Aster 'Henry III' in the back|
|Chrysanthemum 'First Light' (Anemone Form Mum) with Agave american 'Opal'|
I will impatiently wait for the buds to fully open and report back with more pictures when it happens!