Want to add drama to your fall garden?
Mums might be the answer, said Sarah P. Duke Gardens horticulturist Michelle Rawlins.
As gardens fade with the colder temperatures, the foliage can be beautiful but the blooms can be nonexistent. “There’s a lot of fall color but as far as flowers go, it’s clear it’s weak,” Rawlins said.
Gorgeous mums can punch up a fading flower garden, she said. The public has a chance to explore the world of mums with a new four-day festival starting Sunday at Duke Gardens, which was organized in conjunction with the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society.
Dozens of cut show mums – representing each of the 13 different classes – will be on display in the gardens’ Doris Duke Center. Tours will be offered of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, where potted mums will be on display. Speakers will share about the cultural and historical importance of mums, which are prized in Japanese and Chinese culture. Children’s activities will include crafts and a scavenger hunt.
If you are wanting to add mums to your landscape, Rawlins suggests looking for a very sunny spot.
Rawlins knows a thing or two about growing mums: her Golden Gate cultivar won a blue ribbon at this year’s the N.C. State Fair.
Duke Gardens’ Festival of Fabulous Mums is a four-day event starting Sunday in Durham.
The event will include an exhibition of show mums grown by members of Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society, cultural and historical information, arts and crafts, gardening tips and tours of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, where more mums will be on display.
Hours: noon-6 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday.
The event is free except you may have to pay to park. The garden is at 420 Anderson St., Durham.
Info: 919-668-1707 or gardens.duke.edu.