October 2, 2007

The Dendranthema Sisters : Rhumba and Bolero

'Rhumba '

'Bolero '

October is around the corner and it's back to work for me as the Fall season shifts into high gear and everyone wants their gardens done NOW. In my Sweet Garden Chicago I've been busy dividing blackeyed susans and phlox. I've got a good show of purple asters going but I saw a gorgeous pink one that I had to have :

I have a 'Claire Curtis " hardy garden mum that's been in bloom since mid-July and I've added two new additions : 'Bolero ' and 'Rhumba'. Although listed as dendranthema there's a question as to whether they are mums or not.

A little later in October or early November if the weather is too warm I will plant more bulbs. I have plans to add some unusual ones this year : Alliums, Fritallaria, Lily Flowering tulips. I also want to get a Hellebores, the first plant to bloom in the Spring.


  1. Pretty sisters. It is still warm here, too, which will also delay my fall bulb planting a few weeks. I generally wait until closer to Halloween, anyway.

    And why did they rename mums like that?

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  2. Rhumba sure is a pretty colour. Very nice!

  3. Hi Carol,

    According to what I read, some experts think that Dendranthema should be in the same genus with the mums and not a separate one.

  4. Thanks, dirtyknees. I love the corals and yellow together. So cheerful.

  5. I'm not crazy about mums, but those are pretty. I have to warn you about Hellebores. They are like potato chips, it's hard to stop at just 1.

  6. Thanks for the warning, mcgregor's daughter. I'm sure that it will be delightful to see the Hellebores peeping out of the snow.

  7. Another warning about hellebores: they are expensive (at least here in NS) and they are fickle, mostly because our springs are so bad. They want to bloom in late winter, just about the time we will have a huge dump of snow, smothering them; and if they survive that, the subsequent soggy soil does them in. If you have great drainage, you'll probably do just fine; plus in Chicago you probably have sensible, winterlike winters, not ridiculous up-and-down the thermometer scale performances that don't turn into winter until well into January.

  8. Hi Jody,

    I've been warned twice now about Hellebores and so I'm starting to worry.

    NO, we don't have sensible, winterlike winters in Chicago, unfortunately. This past Spring was terrible - warm, then cold, then warm again and so a lot of plants were sacrificed.

    I do know that Hellebores are terrible expensive but then since I work at the local garden center I get a deep discount.

  9. Oh that coral sister - she's a beauty, Carolyn!

    Way back when I lived in the Chicago area my only success with a hellebore resulted from siting it under a limbed-up conifer... I think the boughs gave protection from wind and sleet, while allowing snow to swirl under to insulate the plant against any minus Farenheit temperatures.

    Good luck, Carolyn!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. Thanks, Annie. If I get a hellebore I'll heed your advice and plant it in a sheltered place. Those winds off Lake Michigan get mighty cold here, as you well know. Maybe I can put some evergreen boughs from my Christmas tree around it.


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