Crazy about Chrysanthemums.

We are having a wonderful November, beautiful sunshine and no frost means that there is still plenty of colour in the garden. I never used to like chrysanthemums, I used to associate them with dismal pot plants and funerals. But a few years ago I discovered the small flowered Rubellum and Korean chrysanthemums. Don’t ask me which is which, I can’t tell them apart. But they are all lovely. Many of the varieties I have bought in the last couple of years are rare ones propagated by Suffolk Plant Heritage so it is nice to have the added pleasure of helping to preserve plants on the red list.

One of my favourites is ‘Mavis Smith’ which was found by a member of Suffolk Plant Heritage in the garden of her Pilates class. It is the tallest and most vigorous of all my chrysanthemums and instantly recognisable because of its quilled petals which make the flowers look like pink shuttlecocks.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mavis Smith’

I have a clump growing alongside which is another rare chrysanthemum with creamy semi-double flowers called ‘Edelweiss’.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mavis Smith’ with Chrysanthemum ‘Edelweiss’

Another pink one, but this time with a white halo at the centre is ‘Jolie Rose’. This is one of my most recent purchases and I am very pleased with it.

Chrysanthemum ‘Jolie Rose’

A lot of the gardens round here seem to grow Chrysanthemum ‘Suffolk Pink’. I don’t know anything about its history but I suppose it is a local one. I read that it is very rare but it is not round here, everyone has it. It is a very vigorous one.

Chrysanthemum ‘Suffolk Pink’

I have bought a dark pink one with tiny pompom flowers this year. It is called ‘Julia Peterson’. It blooms for ages.

Chrysanthemum ‘Julia Peterson’

Chrysanthemum ‘Mei -Kyo’ is an old variety from Japan. It is smothered in pink pom -pom flowers for a long period.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mei-Kyo’

I grow it in front of the long flowering Rose ‘Bengal Beauty’ and alongside Salvia uliginosa.

‘The Emperor of China’ is a very old one, Gertrude Jekyll wrote about it in 1880. It is absolutely gorgeous with silvery pink quilled petals. Its foliage develops beetroot red leaves in late autumn.

Chrysanthemum ‘The Emperor of China’

‘Clara Curtis’ has pale single flowers, it is a very old variety and it is extremely vigorous.

Chrysanthemum ‘Clara Curtis

I have a single, red one which is very pretty and I cannot remember its name so I would be very happy if anyone could help me out.

‘Chrysanthemum ”Buxton Ruby’ has the smallest, darkest, red semi-double flowers.

Chrysanthemum ‘Buxton Ruby’

Coppery colours are perfect for this time of the year and ‘Marion’ is a rare semi-double chrysanthemum which is a gorgeous rich apricot.

Chrysanthemum ‘Marion’

I bought this next one as ‘Sonya’ but I think it may be wrongly labelled because when I googled it, the only ‘Sonya’ I could find was pink. Maybe my friend Anne, who is the propagating queen for Suffolk Plant Heritage could help us here. Whatever its name, it is a beauty.

Anther rare one which is on the endangered list is gorgeous ‘Picasso’ which has masses of double flowers in a lovely, peachy colour.

Chrysanthemum ‘Picasso’

‘Golden Greenheart’ has a double layer of petals and a distinctive green centre. It is rather unusual.


Chrysanthemum ‘Golden Greenheart’

My favourite golden chrysanthemum is the late flowering ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ . It has bronze double flowers which are gold on the reverse of the petals. It is the last of my chrysanthemums to come into bloom.

Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’

I seem to have rather a lot of yellow ones so next year I shall look for other colours. Again on the red list, I have Chrysanthemum ‘Jante Wells’ which is a rare and sought after variety with bright yellow flowers.

Chrysanthemum ‘Jante Wells’

‘President Osaka’ is a another very rare chrysanthemum. It has sprays of acid yellow flowers.

Chrysanthemum ‘President Osaka’

‘Cottage Lemon’ is very similar but is much more readily available.

Chrysanthemum ‘Cottage Lemon’

I have a few more, but that is probably enough for now. Next year I shall certainly buy some more chrysanthemums because what else fills the garden with such vibrant colour in November ?

I did mean to write about the greenhouse today but the sun was shining and as I walked round the garden there were explosions of colour everywhere and I wanted to come in and celebrate them. I hope you will see one or two that you might like to try, they really brighten up the November garden and they bloom for ages.

Before I go, I will give you a little taste of something that is happening in the greenhouse, and that is a tender chrysanthemum that is just coming into bloom and it is quite astonishing. It was a present from Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and it is quite stunningly beautiful. It is called ‘Salhouse Joy’ and it is certainly bringing me a lot of joy; many thanks Cathy.

Chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy’
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30 Responses to Crazy about Chrysanthemums.

  1. bcparkison says:

    Beautiful…You must have them all.

    • Chloris says:

      I would like them all, but even I realise this is a tall order, after all this is just an October/November obsession, I need room for all my other floral obsessions.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Another fine collection, Liz. ‘Salhouse Joy’ is superb and my eye was caught by ‘Mei-Kyo’ and ‘The Emperor of China’… I have trouble keeping mums from one year to the next. I wonder if our winters are a tad too cold.

  3. karenjw5 says:

    Beautiful post. I love chrysanthemums too. They last so long in a vase and some of them smell wonderful. More of ours survive until the following year now that visiting hedgehogs have solved the slug problem – slugs used to eat all the emerging leaves.

  4. Cathy says:

    I have definitely been won over Chloris. I also didn’t use to like them, but the smaller flowered ones are so pretty when everything else in the garden is starting to fade. 😀 I love the one Cathy gave you. And I can understand why Mavis Smith is your favourite with its exquisite petals. Edelweiss is also very lovely. I think I need a few more in my garden too!

    • Chloris says:

      I’m glad you like them. Mavis Smith is my favourite, my original plant is huge. Before you buy any, check their hardiness, I believe you have very cold winters.

  5. What a great collection. I never used to like them either. Weird isn’t it? I grow and love ‘Emperor of China’, but I am very taken with your new ‘Jolie Rose’

  6. Chrysanthemen sind einfach unverzichtbar! Danke für diesen schönen Beitrag!!

  7. You do have a wonderful collection.

  8. What an amazing collection, but you did save the best for last ‘Salhouse Joy’ is gorgeous!

    • Chloris says:

      Salhouse Joy is amazing. I always thought growing greenhouse chrysanthemums was very tricky and work intensive with stopping and pinching out and good knows what. I just let it grow and it’s fabulous.

  9. Kris P says:

    I’d like to see such a wonderful range of chrysanthemums here, where all you find in garden centers are the “dismal pot plants” your described in your opening statement. ‘Salhouse Joy’ is particularly beautiful. I hope you’ll get to your greenhouse coverage one day soon, and that perhaps that will feature some of your lovely Nerines. A local friend is interested in growing the these and I sent her to check out your 2019 post on the flowers.

    • Chloris says:

      Mine came from specialist nurseries or Plant Heritage, I haven’t seen them in garden centres here either. Thank you for sending people to my blog, I will do a greenhouse post very soon, I keep getting distracted.

  10. snowbird says:

    Goodness, what a stunning gallery, I love them all, it must be delightful walking around discovering them all. I must look out for some next year.xxx

  11. pbmgarden says:

    ‘The Emperor of China’ is elegant and Cathy’s Salhouse Joy is gorgeous.

    • Chloris says:

      Ye, the Emperor of China is a beauty and I am very grateful to Cathy for sending me lovely Salhouse Joy, I have never grown greenhouse chrysanthemums before.

  12. Cathy says:

    Well, this is nearly enough to make those ambivalent about chrysanthemums begin to question themselves – what an amazing variety of them you have now! Is Suffolk a hotbed of chrysanthemum fanciers do you think? Could you possibly have a favourite amongst them, I wonder?

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, two favourites. Chelsea Physic Garden and Mavis Smith. How about you? Did any take your fancy?

      • Cathy says:

        Chelsea Physic Garden is a beauty indeed and I will have a think about your question – but I really don’t think I am enthusiastic enough about them to add any more, although there is a small possibility I might be persuaded…

  13. Frog says:

    Thank you for sharing your stunning collection. I wasn’t a big fan of chrysanthemums either some of them are undeniably beautiful. I love your Emperor of China and Picasso ! And the greenhouse tender one is really spectacular !

  14. Anna says:

    I shall I have to return to this post soon with pen and paper Chloris 😄 I attended a talk by Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers on Saturday via Zoom organised by the Monmouthshire Hardy Plant Society. He suggested that everyone should grow at least three chrysanthemums in their gardens

  15. bittster says:

    What a beautiful selection, so many fantastic cultivars and they are all still so fresh looking. I love ‘Mavis Smith’ but ‘Emperor of China’ is also excellent, and I’d have to grow it just for its age. ‘Salhouse Joy’ is also something, but with that cactus behind I’m almost a little intimidated.
    Your garden goes from great things to great things and I can’t wait for the Nerines now and then the snowdrops thereafter. I really don’t know what non-gardeners do with their time.

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