Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Foolproof Flower Gardening ~ #4

Native to Asia and northeast Europe, there are 30 species of chrysanthemums, with thousands of cultivars. They've been grown as an herb in China since the 15th century BC and the greens are still used in cooking and boiled for tea there. Chrysanthemums appear through the ages in the art of both Japan and China and it is a flower surrounded by symbolism in both cultures.

Chrysanthemums are broken into two categories - Garden Hardy and Exhibition. In my garden, only one type cuts the mustard: the miniature, self sowing daisy type pictured above. Garden Hardy is an understatement. Sold in 6 packs at Home Depot and Target, you only have to plant these once. They reseed so prolifically once they're established, you'll be thinning out seedlings the first season. The 2nd generation plants will be even hardier than the original plants. They spread nicely and work well at the middle of the border. They're a great cover for your bulbs, either before they sprout or as they die back for the year. Snails like these, but the plants are so bushy and full, you won't see much damage.