Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mums the word for Fall

The North Central Research and Outreach Center is located at Grand Rapids, MN.  It is the northernmost station in the continental United States. It is affiliated with the University of Minnesota. 

We passed by there the other day, Far Guy drove way past..then he kindly turned around and we wove our way through the campus to what had caught my eye from the highway.

Field Trials..makes the heart of a Horticulturist go pitter patter..they were researching Mums!

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During the winter Horticulturists make the hybrids in the greenhouses..they take the pollen from one and put it on another..the resulting plants are planted out the following year.  They are trialed in gardens such as these.  I have evaluated gardens like these when I was a student.

IMG_8083 This is the good section..I am not sure what their rules were, did they pinch back or not..I noticed that they were allowed to water..some trials are not allowed water..did they fertilize..maybe.  The cool thing about trials is that everything in these plots gets the same thing.. sun, wind or rain and you can see which plants do the best.  That pink roundy moundy row near the center is a stand out for me..you can see that she flowers prolifically and has no splits in the foliage like the orangey one next door ..although that orangey one isn’t too bad.  The bright yellow one did not fill out as nicely.  When these were planted, they were all planted the same distance apart.

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The actual Chrysanthemum bloom can be classified by flower form..this is a quill type bloom..one of my favorites..and it wasn’t covered by bees. (This place was bee city!)  There are thirteen types of forms..incurved, recurved, spoon, spider, quill..the list goes on and on. 

All the Mums used to be yellow..chrys ..in the Chrysanthemum means yellow, anthemum just means flower in Greek. Mums have come along way.  Between Fall flowering Mums and Asters every color can be found except black which is really a non flower color  anyway..in my opinion!

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What do these trials looks for??  Flower size, color, growth habit, vigor, frost tolerance and winter hardiness.  All the things that will make a mum perfect for fall in Minnesota.

I don’t “do” mums..I have never had any luck with them..they always winterkill for me, or I forget to pinch them back and they flop over, or I pinch them back too much and they barely bloom before they are killed by frost.  I do like mums but they  are just to fussy for me:)

19 comments:

  1. Mums are one of the few flowers I'm good with. I've never seen pink mums before, I'll have to watch for those.
    We have a mum farm near us and they ship mums to Lowes and Walmart in 5 states. I love that last blast of color before winter.

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  2. Wow! They are so beautiful, and I love the fact that they are learning about the different kinds. So this is what you did when you were a student? How cool is that?

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  3. I've done mums in the past but like so many things, not this year. Instead this year I just purchased the already done up big roundy moundy ones at Costco and called it good. But next year I plan on getting back into the swing of things, they are fussy it is true, and the bigger the fussier, but fall wouldn't be fall without mums. But then I fantasize often about wearing hats and gloves shopping and corsages of big fragrant mums to the local football games.

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  4. Pretty pics Connie. I actually have good success with mums here in GA. They usually bloom in the Spring and again in Autumn.

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  5. Once by accident I ended up at a Mum show and I was just blown away by the amazing varieties and how beautiful they all were. Lovely photos Connie. I have several times been given mums for my birthday (which is this month) but (boo hoo) they never survived to the next year.

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  6. Wow!!! I love mums in the yard but never in a pot, reminds me of funerals.

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  7. It's awesome to see such colors out like that!

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  8. I picked up some large gorgeous pots of mums for $3!!
    Thankfully they don't remind me of funerals, but of Fall:) I haven't had a lot of success with the ones in the ground though.

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  9. Interesting to see the type of thing you worked on in college. What a blast of color for the fall. Some of those put the leaves to shame--hehe! Nice photos. I can see why you went back. ;)

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  10. Look at the size of those flowers! They're huge and luscious. Great shots.

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  11. Such gorgeous colors, I can see why your heart goes pitter patter.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  12. Your photos are beautiful. The single flower one is my favorite. We have an annual Dahlia festival near here where you can walk through acres of every sort of Dahlia imaginable. The beauty is breathtaking!

    Have a great weekend.
    The Duchess

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  13. I have been there quite a few years back. They weren't testing flowers at that time but vegetables and raspberries were everywhere. I like taking shots of mums.

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  14. Love your pictures of the mums!! I miss mine.....for some reason they all died!1

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  15. They sure a beautiful. Thanks for shareing. gw

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  16. I Think I shall get some mums...My grandmother had some and I think there are a few left...they were always very leggy...a stalk here and a stalk there...she would pinch them back until July 4 and I think they did better for her and they do for me...some beautiful color for fall would be nice...though the marigolds are still blooming...your pics have brought back good memories...Thanks

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  17. Oh! YES! YES! YES!!!!! I've been wanting to try growing some mums...not the Wal Mart type but the GREAT BIG FOOTBALL Mums so this was a really neat post for me!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie