Skipping to the good stuff here — skipping spring poppies, summer sweet peas and getting straight into the high summer/autumn beauties!
My BESTIE is getting married October 8th this year so I need to focus. She’s enlisted me to do her flowers and I couldn’t be more excited!
Autumn is when the bounty rolls in. Last year October was the month I felt like I hit my stride. The dahlias, zinnias and foliage were amazing!
I love the idea of breaking floral elements into three categories – the brides, bridesmaids and “uglies”.
The bride is that cafe au lait dahlia – demanding attention. The most perfect element.
The bridesmaids could be the bolder dahlias above. Their color brings contrast that helps the bride pop. Her beauty and form still hold the spotlight.
Or they can be as simple and unassuming as the neutral zinnias below. Echoing the subtle color of the bride while still allowing her to shine
The “uglies” are the foliage. To me they are lush, verdant and help everyone else pop. On their own they’re not much to look at. They have a vital role as filler, it’d take a LOT more flowers without them!
They’re the official flower of the great city of Chicago! They’re also amazingly long lasting cut flowers, easy to propagate and come in all kinds of beautiful =D
I really enjoyed growing them last season. I ordered mine from Minnesota. Most flower farmers rave about Kings Mums but I don’t have experience with them. My understanding is those require careful overwintering and I’m not into that.
Let’s start with what these are not. These are not “exhibition” type mums. They’re not the Seaton’s J’dore variety you see all over Instagram.
These “Mums from Minnesota” at fgimn.com are bred for brutal winters. Not exactly what I’m into but it’s what I’m stuck with. I’ll be sure to report on their hardiness as soon as the ground isn’t frozen solid =P
A novelty quill flowered variety
These mums are beautiful!!! There are all different types available. My absolute favorite variety is above and below, name is “Homecoming”. I was expecting “Pat Lehman” to be my favorite from the photos online but “Homecoming” was a pleasant surprise.
Hold up — Is that a dead ringer for Pantone’s “Rose Quartz”??!?!
So if you’re convinced and have to grow some mums now, here was my process
- The first year, I bought whatever looked promising in the catalog and just planted one. I know, JUST ONE?! How are you going to plant just one of anything?! I don’t know, good luck. I did plant 2 of one variety.
- The second year, cross your fingers that your faves survived winter. Then propagate like crazy. Mums root readily from cuttings so that part should be easy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just google it. If you still can’t figure it out request a tutorial in the comments. Stop rooting by July 1st. Harvest all your other beautiful flowers all season and watch the mums grow lush, green and beautiful with a little water and weeding. By late September be pleasantly surprised with a new and inspirational harvest! Let’s be honest, we’re all a little bored with Dahlias come October. Mums are the perfect distraction
- Enjoy and share with your flowery friends =D
I spent a lot of time planning my garden this winter. I really need to get some other winter hobbies!
The file below is my plan for when to sow seeds for my garden this winter. It’s separated into three categories, Start Indoors, IN GROUND (either transplant seedlings from inside or direct sow in the ground) and Fall Harvest. In my mind it is better for me to just put it out there for you and you figure it out rather than spend any more time explaining it —
2015 Garden Plan, 5B
Please do leave any questions in the comments section and I’ll be happy to clarify