Mum’s the word, today on Life In Bloom, Chrysanthemum, that is. We’ll explore the many shapes sizes and colors of this durable, long-lasting flower. We’ll learn how they’re grown, I’ll show you a fun craft, we’ll even have a Chrysanthemum Cocktail – say that 3 times fast!
“Why don’t you get a haircut? You look like a chrysanthemum.”
-P. G. Wodehouse
J’s History with Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums- have always been a big part of my life- my family started growing Chrysanthemums- as cut flower way back in the early 1900’s. The Chrysanthemum house- and the impressive blooms- were often a backdrop for many family photographs. In fact my Great Grandfather- Charles Green- commissioned a painting for my Great Grandmother- Katie- of Chrysanthemums- from our family greenhouses- that painting hangs in my home today- and has been part of the Fun with Flowers and J set for many years… I create an arrangement- with that painting as an inspiration in this show!
Waxing a Chrysanthemum (Football Mum) with a Candle
Chrysanthemums- are long lasting durable flowers- and at the same time- they have certain challenges when it comes to growing. They naturally bloom when days get shorter and nights are longer- so we had elaborate shade cloths that had to be pulled each day- over the top of the benches- to fool the plants into thinking it was fall… at the same time- when the days got too short- we had to light them- to simulate and stimulate blooming. Naturally Chrysanthemums produce many blooms- but if want ONE Singular large bloom- you need to disbud- the plant- this means carefully- removing the buds – just as soon as they are visible- so that all the strength – goes to one central bud- and you get – what we used to call a FOOTBALL MUM- so called- because we would make homecoming corsages out of the large blooms…
Chrysanthemums – are composite flowers- meaning that the flower is made up of hundreds of petals- that all sprout from the center of the bloom. Each individual petal supports the petals around it… and unfortunately- if you bump, ding or otherwise rough-up a Chrysanthemum- and knock out a few petals- the other petals will soon follow suit!
We used to WAX- Mums- by lighting a candle- and dripping wax on the back side of the calyx -thus reinforcing the flower- before it was made into a corsage or placed into a bouquet…
Exploding “Mum” Flowers
But- there’s also a fun aspect- of the Chrysanthemum- ‘exploding’- as it were… as kids we would hit a bloom on the table or bench- for fun- to watch it explode- this didn’t make either my parents or grandparents happy… but it’s an Interesting Homecoming Football Tradition- to burst your Corsage- when the Home teams makes it’s first touchdown- and the audience would be showered in Mum Petals- that typically were one of the Home Team Colors…
So you see- there’s a lot of personal history- personal experience- and lots and lots of LOVE that go into my fondness for the Regal Chrysanthemum!
Featured Flower: Spray Chrysanthemum
Trivia about Spray Chrysanthemums
- Spray Chrysanthemum are also referred to as Daisy Chrysanthemum, Buttons, or Pompons.
- Most Chrysanthemum species originate from East Asia.
- The name “chrysanthemum” is derived from the Ancient Greek: chrysos meaning gold and anthemon meaning flower.
- Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC
- In Japan, Chrysanthemum Day is one of the five ancient sacred festivals. It is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month. It was started in 910, when the imperial court held its first chrysanthemum show.
- Chrysanthemums entered American horticulture in 1798 when Colonel John Stevens imported a cultivated variety known as ‘Dark Purple’ from England.
- In addition to the traditional yellow, other colors are available, such as white, purple, and red.
- Chrysanthemum blooms are divided into 13 different bloom forms by the US National Chrysanthemum Society, Inc., which is in keeping with the international classification system.
- The pompon form is fully double, of small size, and very globular in form.
- Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers of certain species (C. morifolium) are boiled to make a tea in some parts of East Asia. The resulting beverage is known simply as chrysanthemum tea
- Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution by the NASA Clean Air Study
- The chrysanthemum is also the flower of November
Here’s more additional information about the Chrysanthemum – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysanthemum
YinYang® is one of my Favorite Spray Chrysanthemums from Deliflor Latin America- and here’s a show- that features THREE projects with different colors of the YinYang Spray Chrysanthemum- Watch Here!
A Visit Ocean Breeze Farm and my Friend René Van Wingerden
I had the pleasure of visiting one of the few farms in the United States that still include Chrysanthemum in the mix of flowers they grow – Ocean Breeze. The sights and smells of this visit reminded me of my childhood, largely spent inside my family’s greenhouses…one of the smells we share – is the steaming of soil- a LIFE LONG Memory for me!
René is a ONE-in-a-Million Guy- his passion for Growing flowers is palpable – and especially when it comes to Chrysanthemums- he’s one of (maybe the only) American Flower Farmer- growing Chrysanthemums- and he does so- with grace, style and common-sense. His location in Santa Barbara- makes for the perfect spot to grow these heat and light sensitive flowers. We filmed a documentary about the Ocean Breeze operation- when I spent the day with René – and you can watch that CA Grown Experience here! (it’s FREE)
René has a strong sense of family- and appreciation for the sacrifices his parents made so that their family could create a better life- with his wife June- and son Ivor- (who is active in the family flower business) – Ocean Breeze is a family business- and as with so many California Flower Farmers- those in their employ are also part of the family!
And there’s GOATS! René had the clever idea of keeping the weeds down on the property with Goats… and the goats are part of the Ocean Breeze Family- they keep the weeds in check- and give this Amazing American Grown Flower Farm- a true farm landscape! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to share a day- with someone that is Passionate- Compassionate- and has an unending love for Family and Flowers- René is the man you want to meet!
Learn more about my Flower Friend René Van Wingerden Here- (Coming Soon!)
Flower Craft: Emoji Mums
Emojis have become a way of life for many of us- it’s another way to communicate- and with Smart Phones- it’s even easier than before- I harken back to the times when you would make emoji’s with a keyboard… :0) or @>—- (For a Rose… hehehe) – and when I was a kid- the SMILE Face Mum – was super popular- this project is all about emojis and we create emoji mums- using black pipe cleaners- and attache them directly to a Yellow Football (also known as STANDARD) Mums- the same way we used to create emoji’s with our keyboard… Enjoy this Fun Flower Craft- it’s great for kids…
And Check out the original episode – that I created that has more background about this Emoticon Mum Flower Craft- here!
Chrysanthemum Cocktail – #FlowerCocktailHour
I had never heard of the Chrysanthemum cocktail – but with a name like that I had to investigate. It turns out it’s a century-old classic, dating back to 1916. Popular on cruise liners to Europe during prohibition, it’s a relatively simple drink a that’s light and herbal with a sweet ending.”
2 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Bénédictine
3 dashes Absinthe
Garnish: Orange twist
Follow these Steps:
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold.
Strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with an orange twist.
Here’s a Fun #FlowerCocktailHour- Variation – The Dandelion Cocktail
This variation on the classic Chrysanthemum cocktail uses a Yellow and Green Chartreuse combination in place of Benedictine, and subs in bitter Malört in place of the more traditional absinthe.)
Bridal Bouquet with Color Enhanced Magnum® Chrysanthemums
In this bouquet I’m including a variety of Chrysanthemum called Magnum® – that resemble Dahlias – and I’ll show you my special technique to subtly change up their color. My Friends at Deliflor® Latin America- introduced the Magnum Chrysanthemum- it’s a standard mum- (also known as a FOOTBALL MUM- here in the USA)… a few years back- the fantastic attributes of this Standard Mum – are as follows: It has a shaggy row of petals around the outside of the bloom- so it’s look like a dahlia- it’s long lasting- I’ve had these mums- last 28 days in a vase on my desk- no kidding!- and they are durable- and hold their petals much better- than the classic Standard Mums of days gone by…
In addition- the Magnum® Chrysanthemum- comes in White, Yellow and PINK (think Lavender with a rose hue)… it’s a sensational addition to our flower world- Dahlias – while pretty- just don’t last very long- that is NOT SOMETHING you can ever say about a Chrysanthemum- they are certainly one of the longest lasting flowers in our Flower World! I also love that the scientists at Deliflor® Latin America- discovered a way to make the petals hold in place- (rather than shattering) unlike the mums I was used to as a kid!
If you want to learn more about DeliFlor- and their Amazing Chrysanthemums- follow them on their social media accounts -
And meet my friend JD- (Juan David) during my trip to ProFlora- One of the largest Flower exhibitions in the World- held in Bogota Colombia- in this Documentary we created for the Flowers of Colombia- I got to visit with JD-(time code 2:52) Watch it here- it’s FREE!
Check out the NEW Flowers Exhibit with me in Colombia- and SEE Magnum® as well as other UNUSUAL and UNIQUE Chrysanthemum Varieties- (as well as others-) in this Documentary!
Here’s the Original Project- where I created this Project- watch this entire PROJECT Start to finish here!
Want to see Magnum® In action with another project? Watch this show- where I create a Bridal Bouquet with Magnum® Chrysanthemums!
Daisy Mum Arrangement with Cloche – featuring “Alma” Daisy Spray Chrysanthemums
This is magical project- that has a Fairy tale spin- it’s a wonderful arrangement of Chrysanthemums- that features all different types of “mums”- and they are used in special ways- arranging, pavé, and even enclosed- as I create this fun flower project- that includes a cloché in the final moments… You’ll think about Chrysanthemums in a whole new way- after watching this episode of “Life in Bloom!
Here’s another Vase Arrangement Project that features Deliflor Latin America’s Alma® Daisy Spray Chrysanthemum here!
Chrysanthemums have been a florists’ staple for many years due to their obvious positive attributes –color, durability, and long-lasting properties, so it’s been exciting to look at them through a new lense. I hope you have a new appreciation for one of the most varied family of flowers that exists! For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.