Time to plant garden chrysanths

April 26th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Chrysanthemum 'Spartan Canary'

There’s an astonishing eighty eight different types of chrysanthemum and tens of thousands of varieties have been introduced over the years. This post is about just a few of them, the hardy outdoor garden chrysanthemums that we can grow in our perennial and in our mixed borders.

These varieties, single and double flowered, are tough enough to survive our winters outside in the garden in the same way as other perennials. They also flower early enough to be at their peak before winter weather can damage the blooms.

Hardy garden chrysanths have enjoyed phases of popularity over the years, enthusiasm waxing and waning, but now gardeners are again appreciating their value in the garden. This is largely due to the work of chrysanthemum enthusiast Judy Barker whose recent book is just the latest phase in her work reminding us all what superb garden plants they can be.

Today’s top selections are taken from the best of the old varieties and joining these are choices from more recent British-bred series (including ‘Spartan Canary’, above) , between them a fine range of excellent varieties is available.

All have the same simple requirements. First, they enjoy sunshine. Not necessarily 100% all day full sun, but good light for much of the day and with no shade from overhanging tree branches.

Secondly, they appreciate good soil. Chrysanthemums are hungry plants and good soil plus good preparation makes a big difference to their performance.

Thirdly, they hate soggy soil in winter. Poor drainage in winter is the main killer of garden chrysanths so working organic matter into heavy soils helps break up the clay.

But thing to remember is, basically, that they’re tough and prolific. Now is planting time, so why not try the Hardy Chrysanthemum Collection?

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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