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Getting Creative with Mums

Mums look awesome with stone. Who’d have thought?


I may get called an “experienced gardener” but I’m no plant snob and I actually prefer the more common plants.  They’re usually cheaper and easier, and I like trying to use them in unique ways.  Plus, if they’re annuals, like most mums, I get to try different ones every year.  And as the season winds down, mums are just soooo colorful.  Check out these examples of mums used in fun ways.

I asked Behnkes’ Sissy McKenzie about mums and she advises buying them NOW for the best assortment of colors, sizes and bloom types.  Colors available include red, yellow, lavender/pink, bronze, and more.


Mums with Japanese maples at Brookside Gardens


Sissy’s Design Tips for Mums

Mums are the divas of the fall garden!  They can be mass planted to make a colorful edge to any garden.  They can be used to accent a flower bed or to set on a door step for a brilliant show of color.   They also make wonderful companions to your fall decorations, adding color around pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds – they add great texture and color to any decorations. Mums also make excellent container plants, decorating your deck, front porch or pool area.


Sissy’s Mum-Growing Tips

Mums are a full sun plant, so remember at least 6 hours of sunlight is important to the health of your plant.  Mums need to be regularly watered and feed once a month to keep their leaf color.


Potted mums outside Behnkes in Beltsville
Seen in a Japanese garden.


Photographers love using their macro lenses on mums!

by Susan Harris

Photo credits:  Mums with stone.  Massed with bamboo screenIn Japan.  In collage:  upper left,  upper right, both lower photos.  Brookside and Behnkes photos by Susan Harris.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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