Late autumn is an interesting time for seasonal flowers. By
now, the dahlias, hydrangeas and other summer flowers have started to dwindle.
But it’s still slightly too early for the tulips, sweet peas and other winter
flowers to begin. May is, of course, also the month of Mothers’ Day and this
brings us to the not so humble chrysanthemum.
Back in the bad old days of floristry, there wasn’t a ton of
variety when it came to commercially grown flowers. In addition to babies
breath and tightly budded glasshouse roses, the flower market was awash with
chrysanthemums. Now, you may ask (fairly) why we’re bothering you with all this
talk of daggy, old school flowers. And that, friends, is exactly why we’re
having this history lesson.
Like many flowers, chrysanthemums varieties have changed and
morphed in the last decade of so and now boast a pretty impressive portfolio.
There are the fluffy “disbuds”, which are cultivated by literally chopping of
the buds that grow in addition to the main flower. This channels all of the
energy into a single flower head, resulting in the giant pom poms we see in
arrangements. There are also a number of different “spider” chrysanthemums,
that look like an alien life form with their spiky petals. And finally, there
is now a wide range of dyed chrysanthemums, which have become a mainstay in the
modern designs of many cutting edge florists.
.If you’re thinking of having an arch for your wedding
ceremony, or a high impact arrangement at the entrance to your reception, a
grouped arrangement with a spray of chrysanthemums is a great idea. Due to
their fullness and shape, they immediately draw the eye, and also offer great
support to other focal flowers in an arrangement, such as phalaenopsis orchids.
Looks like the so-called “Mothers’ Day flower” has had an