Pink Mums Rescued!

Those of us who visit the Civic Garden Center thoroughly enjoy the new plantings around the Green Learning Station, the pervious-paver parking lot, and the informative signs sprinkled around the grounds. Near the transition from the parking area to the walkway to the main building are two little planting areas that have a story to tell, if they could.

Last fall, as the Green Learning Station was under construction, we moved lots of plants to other areas in the grounds. By the time winter was really threatening a fellow Dirt Crew member and I spied some over-looked mums in the little planting areas that were about to be relegated to the compost pile and decided to move them. They were much the worse for wear at the time, trampled a bit, too dry, gangly,very shallow-rooted, but they had the most lovely, airy, gentle pink blossoms on top of three foot tall plants. We gave them new homes on a hillside on the grounds and took a couple of really dreary looking divisions home to our gardens. We hoped for the best.

They have done well. In my garden, because I cut them back in July, they are an 18 inch bushy plant that is 12 inches at the base with pink blossoms rising on strong 6 inch stems.

I planted one division between a Pink Knockout rose and a reblooming iris and love the companionable effect.

At the Civic Garden Center we put them on a hillside near the vegetable garden and among some perennial grasses.

Whether the mums were cut back in mid-summer or not, they seem to be reasonably late bloomers, which I find delightful, and they have held up well after the recent cold nights and windy rains. These little guys had endured last summer’s heat and drought, construction workers’ boots, and a quick dig and plant as the cold came down last season. So, while we all know Fall is a great time to divide and transplant perennials, it just might also be a good time to take a look around and rescue plants that need a new home.

Cindy Briggs

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