Signs of Mum Life
What I wouldn't give for a cold front and some snow, I was thinking as I walked through my Missouri hillside garden the day after Christmas 2016. The temperature was again close to 60F, unseasonably warm for Missouri in December. Usually the temperature is closer to freezing.
Trying to look at the bright side of our rapidly changing climate, I decided to take a look at how the chrysanthemums I had planted in October were doing. Most were gifts from a friend who had shared a stash of yellow and darker light brown ones - I like to think of them as honey-colored - we both planted at the end of the growing season. Or what we thought was the end of the growing season.
Once established, mums are perennials that help repel unwanted insects. The first year, however, their roots have to be kept moist until they have a chance to be established.
Remembering the number of days I had dragged gallons of water out in cold weather to pour over the plants, I wondered how successful I had been. I had not stopped long enough in those cold days to peek to see if there was any sign of life.
Even now, in warm, sunny weather, I didn't remove any of the dead flowers and branches. Those serve as as protective cover, if we ever get winter back.
Peeking through those dead branches, there was what I wanted to see, little green ruffles at the center of the plant. Roots are getting settled in.
So far, so good.