Brilliant chrysanthemum blooms fill Longwood Gardens when the National Chrysanthemum Society holds its 68th annual show in the Exhibition Hall on Saturday, October 29 from 1-5 pm and on Sunday, October 30 from 9 am-5 pm. Members from regional chapters and chapters from across the country and are expected bring 450-600 of their most spectacular blooms and varieties to display in the judged show.
Blooms will be judged in two Divisions of competition, Horticulture and Floral Design. Both Divisions are open to amateur growers and designers. There is a Novice division for first-time competitors. The majority of mums in competition will be giants, commonly known as “Football Mums.” The minimum size of the bloom eligible for the competition is 4 inches in diameter, with some as large as 11 inches in diameter. A special Chrysanthemum Bonsai display will also be part of the show.
For the full show schedule, please visit: www.mums.org, and click on “2011 NCS Show.”
Chrysanthemum Festival marks 30th year
The chrysanthemum show takes place during Longwood Gardens’ 30th annual Chrysanthemum Festival, October 29-November 20. In 1981, Longwood turned its annual chrysanthemum display into a month-long festival featuring a variety of chrysanthemums grown in unique ways. To mark the 30th year of this popular display, Longwood will showcase more than 20,000 colorful, blooming Chrysanthemums flourishing in the palatial conservatory beginning October 29.
Longwood’s team of experts have meticulously grown and groomed these fall favorites into a variety of unusual forms ranging from cascades that drape the Conservatory walls and columns like flowery waterfalls to towering single-stemmed mums to miniature varieties.
The showstopper of the display is the elaborate “Thousand Bloom” mum, which this year is expected to boast a record number of more than 1,000 perfectly placed, uniform blooms on one plant. A dying art form that originated in Japan, Longwood is one of the few places in the world where this growing technique is still practiced.
In addition to the Thousand Bloom, guests will encounter shield-shaped chrysanthemum forms, towering chrysanthemum arches to walk under, and gigantic mum balls suspended from the ceiling. Don’t miss the unusual horticultural feat of the Wonder of the World mum. This is a single chrysanthemum plant onto which more than 100 different cultivars of mums are grafted and then grown to bloom simultaneously.
The National Chrysanthemum Society Show is free with Gardens admission.
About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning his farm into a magnificent horticultural showplace. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement.
The outdoor gardens and Conservatory open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 pm through November. 20. The Terrace Restaurant is open daily for full- and self-service dining. The Gardens Shop is also open daily. Admission is $18 for adults; $15 for seniors (62+); $8 for Students ages 5-18 or with valid student ID; and free age 4 and under. Longwood Gardens is on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA. For more information, visit www.longwoodgardens.org or call 610-388-1000.