November 12, 2015

Maxi-"mum" cuteness at the 2015 Allan Gardens Conservatory Fall Chrysanthemum Show

How some cats stole a flower show


What do I do in the fall while working for others? A lot of "fall cleanups" which mean cutting down decaying stalks and foliage, raking leaves out of gardens and discarding annuals from containers and beds. One "annual" I've been dumping out is the type of chrysanthemum you might had seen and even bought back in September.

These mounded flower balls (my phrase) are meant to bridge the gap between summer and Christmas container greenery. They were great looking for about 2 months but as the flowers fade, my clients look at these brown globes of sadness and direct me to "chuck them out." I do so without regrets because these mums are commodities, having the same flower shape and overall form. You can pick them up cheaply at garden centers, hardware stores, grocery stores, etc. Just pick the flower colour: orange, red, white, yellow, umm, that's about it and plunk them into your urns or gardens for that "quick hit of fall colour" (someone else's phrase.)

Truly disposable plants...

Old chrysanthemums in container by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
From one container....

Chrysanthemums in garbage can by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
To another


On the other end of the horticultural spectrum,  a nearby public Conservatory operated by the City of Toronto puts on a dazzling display of all things Chrysanthemum every October into November. The Allan Gardens Conservatory Fall Chrysanthemum Show (I just call it the "Fall Mum Show") offers locals and tourists nice photo opportunities and/or a brief respite from the gloomy November weather. These Chrysanthemums are bred, I think, just for indoor shows and exhibitions and very likely not hardy outside over a zone 5 winter. This makes some sense as the desirable traits for hybridizers of big and/or unusual flowers probably come at the expense of cold hardiness and flower scent. But the flowers are sure pretty so let's take a look at them before I bore you even more.

(Warning: this is a very long post with a ton of pictures. I could/should have broken this into two posts but due to sheer laziness on my part, you'll experience the full maxi-"mum" (ahem) experience. Also, the reference to cute kittens or cats will make sense later. As if you haven't seen enough of these type of pictures in your social media circles, I promise my felines are very cute!)



Yellow incurve mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow incurve mum at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show

As you enter the Conservatory through the main doors, you're under a tall glass dome surrounded by permanent "tropical" plantings like palms, bananas and philodendrons. There's a small "patio" for lack of a better word around which the seasonal Show plantings are on display. The colour scheme this year has yellow and orange dominating. If mums can ever be considered hot and vibrant, these are great examples.


Yellow single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow single mums at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show

Yellow thistle mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow thistle mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Yellow spider mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow spider mums at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Yellow incurve mum at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow incurve mum at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Purple and yellow single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple and yellow single mums at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Pale yellow incurve mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pale yellow incurve mum at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Orange anemone mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Orange anemone mum at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


You may be wondering what these terms "incurve", "reflex", "thiste", etc. are all about. According to the National Chrysanthemum Society, USA, there are 8 classifications of Chrysanthemums. Mention them next autumn and you'll gain the awe, admiration and possible envy of others.


Maneki-neko Beckoning cat at the  Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Maneki-neko Beckoning cat at
 the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 
This year's Show had an "Asian vibe" which is hardly incongruous since Chrysanthemums have been hybridized for many centuries in Japan, China and Korea. (The theme for last year's Show was about Fairy Gardening, a fad that has mercifully ended, I hope!)

Chrysanthemum flowers make a wonderful tea which I enjoy over dim sum (for my kids, not so much).

Seeing this Maneki-neko ("Beckoning cat" in Japanese) above brought a smile and didn't seem out of place. He is asking you to come into a place of business and spend a lot of money so many Asian store owners have these figures near their entrances or cash registers. The Conservatory is operated by the City through our tax dollars. I suppose having a few of these cats near the front doors down at City Hall may be in poor taste, especially for those paying our taxes in person!



Layers of mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Layers of mums at the 
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show

Chrysanthemum tree display detail at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Chrysanthemum tree display detail at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 

A big bonsai? The "tree" branches and trunk are made out of steel strands while the "flowers" sit in cages. A nod to cloud pruning?


Chrysanthemum tree display at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Chrysanthemum tree display at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 



Another beckoning or "lucky" cat. She's a small bank. You might be able to make out the coin slot on the top of her head. Sadly, the plug that would be holding in your success is missing with this neko (Japanese for "cat"). She may be penniless but oh so cute!



Beckoning cat Maneki-neko at the  Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Beckoning cat (Maneki-neko) at the
 Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show





Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Fall Chrysanthemum Show bench display by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Fall Chrysanthemum Show wrought iron bench display

I had to wonder a little about this lady's headgear below. Such conical hats are worn by farmers and others working outside in south Asia so why would one with enough wealth and ostentation to adorn herself with live flowers be caught dead outside toiling under the sun?

Ok, ok, it's just a flower show, so moving on...



Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show mannequin by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show
floral mannequin 




Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show layers of mums by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show
layers of mums


2015 Allan Gardens Conservatory Chrysanthemum Show mannequin by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
2015 Allan Gardens Conservatory Chrysanthemum Show
floral mannequin


Layers of mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Layers of mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show bench by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show
wrought iron bench


I'm loving the vertical aspect of these mums! The lanterns with the wrought iron bench? Hmmmm...

Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show bench display by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show
wrought iron bench display



The other area showing the Mum Show, on the other hand, had decided different look and feel. The flowers on display here were cool whites, pinks, purples. It was a very peaceful, serene, and ethereal setting.  (Even the lone staff member ignored me during these moments of deep contemplation as I took these pictures, bless her!)

It was akin to waking up to fresh snow in the garden one winter morning. I was also reminded of funerals. Did you know white chrysanthemums are often used in Asian funerals?  I wouldn't mind one bit if my visitation and funeral had loads of mums in these hues and shades. There's nothing morbid in this at all: just the practical application of floriculture!



Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show purple decorative mum by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015
Chrysanthemum Show
purple decorative mum 



Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show white decorative mum by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015
Chrysanthemum Show
white decorative mum 




Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show white decorative mums by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015
Chrysanthemum Show
 white decorative mums 




Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show mum standards by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015
Chrysanthemum Show mum standards 




Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show Leda and the Swan fountain by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show
Leda and the Swan fountain 



White pompon mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White pompon mum at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


White single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White single mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show



Purple incurve mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple incurve mum at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show



Purple reflex mum Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple reflex mum at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


White spoon mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White spoon mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Purple and white single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple and white single mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


White incurve mum at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White incurve mum at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Pink anemone mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink anemone mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Pink single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink single mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Purple and white single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Saba" single mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Pastel mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Drift of pastel mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Pale purple reflex mum Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pale purple reflex mums at the
 Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Mum standards at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show  by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Mum standards at the
 Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Layers of pastel mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Layers of pastel mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


"Peek-a-boo!" says Hello Kitty, if Hello Kitty had a mouth. Which she doesn't but you can easily imagine her saying this so just go with me here.

Beats having to look at a gawd-awful gnome or fairy any time of the day or night!

Hello Kitty hiding among the mums at the  Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Hello Kitty hiding among the mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Chrysanthemum butterfly display at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Chrysanthemum butterfly display at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show

I don't know about you but I see an alligator with sunglasses and a struggling Mohawk haircut in this picture:

Chrysanthemum butterfly display at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Chrysanthemum butterfly display at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


Drift of purple mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Drift of purple mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


White spider mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White spider mum at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Pastel pink mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pastel pink mums at the
 Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 

Cuteness factor reaching 9000! I love fishing so being reincarnated as Hello Kitty fishing with my angling little buddy is very appealing, at least for a day.

Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show Hello Kitty and friend fishing by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show:
Hello Kitty and friend fishing 


White spider and purple incurve mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White spider and purple incurve mums at the
 Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show


White and pink single mums at the Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White and pink single mums at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


Pastel mums at Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pastel mums with Leda at the
Allan Gardens Conservatory 2015 Chrysanthemum Show 


I've posted about the Fall Mum Show in the past so if you really still need to see more mums, you can fill your floral boots here:

Mum's the Word: Allan Gardens Conservatory Chrysanthemum Show 2013

I swear on me (fall) mum, it's a fantastic show! The Allan Gardens Conservatory 2014 Fall Chrysanthemum Show