Today is part 2 of our visit to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina, with Teresa Watkins.
Birdhouses in the gardens
Vegetable gardens with the fire of fall foliage behind them
Huge, beautiful, yellow chrysanthemums with Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) foliage behind them beginning to color up
Chrysanthemums are incredibly variable. This simple daisy form shows off the dramatic coloring of the petals beautifully.
There is a fascinating combination of colors in this mum. Often we think of mums as just the standard, slightly boring, cushion mums sold everywhere potted for a fall display, but they are one of the oldest cultivated flowers, with an incredibly long history of breeding and display in Asia. Many varieties can develop huge, intricate blooms that are anything but common.
To display the huge, unusual flowers of these spider-form chrysanthemums to their highest potential, each plant is carefully pruned, each stem is staked, and many of the flower buds are removed so the flowers that do develop grow large and perfect.
These pure white mums offer such a fresh color against the ruddy colors of fall.
This form is called incurve, with each petal rolling in to make a nearly spherical bloom.
Narrow, rolled petals give this mum an airy, unusual look.