How to use mums? How many of us get that question? Sure, I see lots of discussions on how to keep mums alive, when to plant them, and which are perennial/which not.
But I was asked: How to use mums in an interesting way? The reason: I have a new job now, still in media, but as an editorial writer at our local paper. I don’t get to write about gardening, though I do opine on climate change and other environmental concerns (like climate change).
However, the style editor knows all about my gardening obsessions and often comes back to my lair to discuss things she’s working on – which can be a nice respite.
This time, she wanted to know really unusual, even wacky ways to use mums in indoor or outdoor fall decor situations.
I gave it some thought. Of course, I dislike, even hate mums (depending on which type they are), as I have said here and in many other Rants that have disappeared from the site. Guest Ranter James Roush really hates them.
BUT, I will use them in fall arrangements. I like to yank them out of their pots and place them here and there with other fall stuff. Am I going to buy any of the repulsive, incredibly short-lived containers that abound at every supermarket and big box and put one on each side of my front door? Most assuredly not.
Anyway, I suggested to my colleague that handfuls of mums could be coming out of the carved areas of a pumpkin and the top. (Just spitballing for unusual.) I also said I only use them if cut short (tall ones look awful in a vase) and placed in glass bowls, preferably with other flowers. Only as an element, not as the big thing.
As for planting any, no way. Don’t need ‘em. I still have eupatorium (boneset), annual sage, coleus, and goldenrod blooming, just to name a few things in my still colorful garden. Not to even mention the foliage colors.
Mums, if they’re lucky, will play a small supporting role as temporary decor.
But maybe people here have wild and crazy ways to use mums. Do tell!
(Plants from top: Solidago, Japanese maple, Amsonia and Japanese maple, Eupatorium)