This is the time of year when my chrysanthemums go nuts, and I just love it. I discovered a few years ago that mums do really well in our soil and with our southern exposure. They swell and grow all summer long, getting bigger and greener, and by October, they're really spectacular.
I had two enormous white mums right by the path to the front door that were always at their peak at Halloween, and several years a few of the trick-or-treaters would pet them as they passed. They did look like big fluffy dogs. But one died this spring, and the other is about half-dead. Fortunately, I have another one nearby that has become just as monstrous this year:
I planted one last year that I think is like the Cadillac of chrysanthemums...red with yellow centers. I'd love to find some more like it:
The last several years, I've been buying mums in pots for the front porch steps and then planting them in the flowerbeds when they've faded. This year all I found were white, yellow and purple, nothing too exotic. In my experience, the white ones really thrive and the yellow ones are more half-hearted. I'm not sure about the purple ones...I don't think I've had any planted long enough to tell yet. I just love a plant that gives you plenty of bang for your buck: lots of growth, lots of flowers, and several years' worth of both.
We had a very nice Halloween; our friends Cheryl and Chris Potthast and their son Matthew came over for baked potatoes and hot cider. We sat on the front porch for a while and handed out candy. Not a lot of trick-or-treaters this year...my estimate was about 40 kids. This means we have a pile of Tootsie Roll pops to dispose of...somehow.