I was at a concert at Longwood Gardens last night, in the ballroom that is attached to the East Conservatory. Before the concert and during intermission we were able to wander throughout the conservatories. This is always a wonderful experience because it is after-hours and the conservatories become a magical place, all hushed and dimly lit. Currently on display is their annual fall Chrysanthemum Festival. They have trained mums into cascading and topiary forms and have some trained into 13 foot arches. Some noteworthy and impressive accomplishments:
- Over 100 different varieties of chrysanthemum flowers on one plant. Let me say that again so it sinks in: Over 100 DIFFERENT mum flowers all on ONE PLANT. Can you say, “WOW!?” This is done using a grafting technique that has been around for hundreds of years in China and Japan. Check out their blog post to learn more about the process – the post is from 2012, but it is worth checking out.
- This year their “Thousand Bloom Mum” has broken a North American record for having 1,416 blooms on it. Again, all on one plant. It takes 17 months to make the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum happen each year, and thousands of working hours by staff members. See their blog again to learn more about this process – this post is from 2011, but it gives you an appreciation for all of the work that goes into creating this each year. Definitely watch the little slideshow/video on there. To see this year’s mum, click here and scroll to the bottom. Also, click on the “show more” link to see other interesting photos from this year’s display.
They have some seriously talented people working at Longwood Gardens. “Kudos!” to all of them for a job well done, as always. The Chrysanthemum Festival is on through November 24th.