2023’s Best U. S. Cities for Local Flowers
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Looking at five floral categories in the 200 largest U.S. cities, Lawn Love came up with these two lists.
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Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Smith College

Submitted by on September 29, 2023 – 12:40 amNo Comment

Fall Mum Show, Smith College, Northampton, MassachusettsFor two weeks in November, as the colors fade outdoors, floral fireworks erupt inside the Lyman Conservatory during the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Smith College, 16 College Lane, Northampton, Massachusetts.

This year’s dates are November 4 through 19, 2023.

Oversized blooms reaching eight inches across appear atop plants five to seven feet tall. The stunning showcase includes chrysanthemums grown in the traditional Japanese style, painstakingly trained to cascade downward and form a “waterfall of flowers” gushing down the greenhouse wall.

Botanic Garden staff and horticulture students begin preparing for the Chrysanthemum Show months ahead to ensure that everything is ready opening night. Here is a look at how they create some of our floral pyrotechnics.

The cascades are a striking feature of the Chrysanthemum Show. These hanging waterfalls of flowers line the greenhouse walls with brilliant color. Although specifically bred for this type of display, cascading mums do not naturally grow in these formations. Cascades require an eight-month training period during which they are pinned to wire frames. The buds are also pinched periodically to encourage branching and to increase the number of flower buds. Using similar methods, cascading mums can be trained to walls, fans, or pillars, or even to more complex shapes.

Also featured are extraordinary oversized blooms known as standards, growing atop plants as tall as seven feet. The flowers, in a variety of unexpected shapes and colors, have been coaxed to their unusual size by disbudding—removing all the side flower buds as the plants grow. This results in one very large flower per plant.

Horticulture students at Smith have been learning chrysanthemum hybridization techniques since the early 1900s, producing new hybrids bearing the names of their creators. These hybrids are exhibited at the following year’s show, and exhibition-goers vote for their favorite hybrid. Be sure to vote for the one you like the best.

Fall Mum Show, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

(Photos courtesy of Smith College)

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