Do any of my readers remember Percy Thrower? He was the presenter of Gardeners World for many years (1969 – 1976) and I can clearly remember my father avidly watching the programme for tips on how to improve his garden. In those days I had no interest in gardening, but I do remember Percy in his greenhouse tending his chrysanthemums.
These days it is Monty Don at the helm and, as far as I know, he does not grow greenhouse chrysanthemums. Neither did I until the Chelsea Flower Show, when I fell in love with the blooms displayed by Chrysanthemum Direct. I ordered a few as a trial and these pictures are the result.
I am not going to pretend that growing indoor chrysanthemums has been easy. The plugs arrived in the post in June and have been potted on twice since then. I kept them in pots outside until late September and then brought them into the greenhouse. Throughout the summer they have been watered regularly. I have nipped out the growing stems twice in that time and then removed all but the main bud on each flowering stem in October.
The result is stunning and well worth the effort. The same chrysanthemums grown outside were beautiful, but destroyed by the October rain. These lovely flowers are filling my greenhouse with colour and should extend the season well into December. I am still not a chrysanthemum grower in Percy Throwers league and I have much more to learn (such as the need to stake the stems), but next year will see me ordering more late flowering varieties to keep the show going for as long as possible.
Whilst writing this post I must thank Christina Grieve for her fantastic Portrait and Lifestyle Photography Workshop. I have been doing this workshop online for the last ten weeks and these photos are my first fully manual successes. I have learnt a huge amount and am really looking forward to putting it all into practice over the next year.