Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Lauritzen Gardens

Photo courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens

Megan Fabry

Lauritzen Gardens opened their 17th annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show last month for anyone who appreciates admiring nature and unique plants.

Lauritzen Gardens is a living museum of unique, four-season plant displays that is maintained to the highest standards. They have hosted a fall show every year since 2001, which includes indoor floral shows that are redesigned each season. This allows the Gardens’ staff to showcase different growing methods and other unique design components.

Victoria Schoell-Schafer, director of horticulture, and Peter Volenex-Hamel, senior gardener, create the show’s designs that are displayed each season.

Mia Jenkins is the director of marketing at Lauritzen Gardens and helps create the interpretive signage that educates guests about various aspects of the exhibit.

“I help promote the show to the public,” Jenkins said. “Seeing guests spend time in natures and enjoy the work that our team produces is the best part.”

The fall show revolves around the chrysanthemum and normally has a Japanese theme to honor their sister city, Shizuoka, Japan. Chrysanthemums were grown in Japan in the 8th century B.C. The Japanese were so taken by this flower that they adopted a single-flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and official seal of the Emperor and declared it the national flower.

Over 7,500 small, rooted cuttings arrived at Lauritzen Gardens in early June. 34 different varieties were grown to provide a diversity of color, flower type and bloom time.

The show has several new design features, including a traditional moon gate and a chrysanthemum pagoda. A moon gate is a circular opening in a garden wall that serves as a pedestrian passageway. This landscape element acts as a portal between gardens. It has been said that as the gate rises out of the earth, the moon rises in the sky. A pagoda is a stricture that is traditionally associated with places of worship in East Asia. The pagoda that is featured was designed by the garden staff and has five tiers of potted plants.

“The fall chrysanthemum show is held indoors, but our horticulture staff also grows thousands of chrysanthemums that are on display in our outdoor garden beds,” Jenkins said. “A walk through the outdoor gardens is strongly encouraged this time of the year with the beautiful fall foliage color combined with lowing ornamental grasses and mild temperatures.”

Around 2,000 mums are featured at a time during the indoor show and are only displayed for two to four weeks. After this, they are replaced with plants beginning to bloom. The constant rotation of chrysanthemum varieties provides an ever-changing pattern of colors and textures.

The Fall Chrysanthemum Show is on display through Nov. 16 and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information about the show and upcoming displays, visit lauritzengardens.org.