I don’t like chrysanthemums – I don’t like their stiff resolve to stay alive in a bucket in the corner of every petrol station, I don’t like the fact that they put up with being dyed all sorts of ridiculous colours and, having lived in France, I don’t like their tenacious grim grip on the grave decoration market at this time of year. There is a but coming…
- Chrysanthemum ‘Cottage Apricot’ has single flowers of a bronzey-apricot colour in October and November. It flops rather easily, so should be staked.
- ‘Purleigh White’ has white, semi-pompon flowers with just a hint of pink, and prominent yellow central discs. It grows to about 85cm (33in). A sport of ‘Mei-kyo’.
- ‘Anastasia’ is a pompon that has purplish-pink, double flowers with yellow centres up to 4cm (1½in) across. ‘Mei-kyo’ (pictured left) is very similar, but has slightly paler flowers and is shorter.
- ‘Nantyderry Sunshine’ is a Japanese semi-pompon with cheery, bright-yellow double flowers 3cm (1¼in) across, in October and November. It is a sport from the equally garden-worthy ‘Bronze Elegance’.
- ‘Ruby Mound’ is a popular variety because it makes a dense plant, and the double flowers, 7cm (almost 3in) across, are a deep, satisfying red in colour.
- ‘Emperor of China’ flowers particularly late, in November and December. It has a laxer, taller habit than most, and double, 6cm (2½in) flower heads in a very soft pink. The petals are slightly quilled, which is most attractive. Moreover, the leaves are red in autumn.