Eye-popping mums anchor Longwood display

The Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum typically anchors Longwood Gardens' annual mum festival.

An impressive display that features 200,000 chrysanthemum blooms on 17,700 plants dominates Longwood Gardens right now.

Longwood gardeners specialize in training mums into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Longwood gardeners specialize in training mums into a variety of shapes and sizes, as seen during the 2015 Chrysanthemum Festival.

Longwood’s annual Chrysanthemum Festival, which runs through Sunday, Nov. 20, also features the largest chrysanthemum ever grown outside of Asia: the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum. This year, the name understates the plant’s prowess since 1,523 perfectly placed, uniform blooms stem from a single plant, according to a Longwood press release.

Amid a veritable feast of colorful chrysanthemums, the Thousand Bloom plant derives its name from the ambitious goal of cultivating a single chrysanthemum plant to produce as many perfectly placed blooms as possible. This ancient technique, known in Japan as Ozukuri, originated hundreds of years ago in Asia and is the most exacting and challenging of all chrysanthemum-training styles.

Longwood’s Thousand Bloom measures an impressive 12.5 feet wide and nearly eight feet tall and took 18 months of careful nurturing and training to grow into its final form, the release said. The opportunity to view it and the other mum displays is free with gardens admission.

During the Chrysanthemum Festival, a variety of colors and types will be showcased.

During the Chrysanthemum Festival, a variety of colors and types will be showcased.

Chrysanthemums were first grown and displayed at Longwood in 1921 when founder Pierre S. du Pont opened the conservatory. Longwood now has one of the largest and oldest chrysanthemum shows in North America, showcasing all 13 classes of mums grown into more than 70 unusual forms, such as spirals, shields, orbs, and more, the release said.

.Longwood Gardens dates back to 1906, when industrialist Pierre S. du Pont purchased a small farm near Kennett Square to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, it is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square. For more information, visit longwoodgardens.org or call 610-388-1000.

 

 

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