It’s a sure bet that as soon as the kids head back to school, chrysanthemums – hundreds of them – will begin to appear in a nursery or market near you.
I am not sure if this is a tradition that is particular to New England, and I would love to hear from readers in other parts of the country – and other countries, for that matter. Does everybody buy these in the fall? It sure seems like they do around here.
For years, I have followed the crowds to the chrysanthemum displays, bleating in submission as I try to pick plants with colors that I can live with. Why are the colors so muddy? And why is there never any soil in the pots?
I bring my purchases home and quickly find out that because the growers always skimp on soil, the pots are light even after having been diligently watered, so they blow over in the slightest breeze. Then, as autumn becomes rainy, as it inevitably does around these parts, the flowers begin turning to brown mush. The final phase before they are tossed is crispy, brown, wilted foliage, jutting from an overturned plastic pot.
This scenario repeats itself over and over every year, and until this year, I was a part of it, too. But this year, I am saying a resounding NO to overpriced plants that only last a few short weeks and are just plain unsustainable.
I will not succumb to the mum!