Wednesday, November 16, 2005

13 November 2005 Mums, Leaves

The wind has been blowing leaves around furiously. Thursday we had no power. The wind must have blown it out, knocked down a tree somewhere. I have been doing a lot of raking and moving the leaves to two piles out back and to the rings I have put by the pack fence.
The humidity is lowered, the furnace is on. The heat is set to go down to 60 at night, I know the plants like that.
I read about Mums in Horticulture magazine. There are lots of native looking, single petaled cultivars, though they seem to originate in China. The web sights they provide do not sell seeds, only plants. I did find a little piece on how to raise them from seed for market. There are many many nurseries on the web and it is fun to look them over now, before the catalogs come.
I have studied Feverfew. The cultivar I have is double petaled, but occasionally it seeds produce a single. Mrs. Rumrole, who lived next door to my mother and gave her dried flower heads of this cultivar, recommended pulling out single petaled throwbacks to get rid of them. I believe the single is Chrysanthemum parthnium. I have read that bees can reach the single better and get more pollen, mums are in the compositae family and each petal is a flower. When the flower turns brown, I save some of them. Mrs. Rumrole told Mother to crush the seed head over the place she wanted more little white feverfew. They often take two years to bloom from seed.
From this I extrapolate that non-hybrid mums could be seeded like this. I will try this on the purple mums I got at the perennial exchange. They are a single flower and may reproduce true. I will try this in a pot, keep it labeled, so I don't get a bunch of crosses in my mum cultivation.
I have stayed away from growing Columbine because I want the wild red and yellow variety (Aquilegia canadensis). I don't see it around S.E. Michigan much, people tend to grow fancier kinds in their gardens, but mother had it in her garden. She got seeds from my sister's property and grew them for years. I grew it too, but it has faded from my landscape, so much for that strain of seed, I shall have to get more.


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