Not only are chrysanthemums a stalwart of the autumn garden, they’re perfect for Japanese style gardens too, having been introduced to Britain from Japan in the early 19th century, where they have been associated with the nobility since the 13th century.
They come in a range of beautiful colours from pure white, pink, yellow through to autumnal, rusty-orange colours.
The ones shown above and below are grown indoors so the blooms aren’t damaged by the weather. Whilst outdoor varieties aren’t as dramatic as these, there are plenty that can be grown in the border or planted in pots near the front door as part of an autumn display. After they’re past their best they can be transfered to the garden to flower again next year.
R.H.S. Wisley garden had a display of elegant 18th century Japanese last week, showing how they relate to Japanese style.
Outdoor varieties are easy to grow and can be left outside all year round in mild areas. Plant them in a nice, sunny position, add some compost to the planting hole, then simply cut them back to about 20cm above ground when they’ve finished flowering.
There’s more information and ideas about Japanese style gardens in this earlier post.