Precious moments are like seasons; they change and they’re fleeting. To recapture them and to relive them seems impossible. Then there are those things that never change. At Bellingrath Gardens and Home, the annual Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums display, a majesty that’s only in bloom for a fleeting time each November, is a true feat of horticulture artistry. This year, you can enjoy them through November 23, 2016.
Mums: A labor of love
A glimpse into the celestial, better-known-as-mum season is a brief one each year.
Bellingrath’s Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums are the nation’s largest outdoor cascading mum display. Representing autumn’s signature hues of yellow, bronze, white, and red, mums decorate the entire 65-acre estate property—hanging in baskets, displayed in spheres and towers, and of course, cascading off of the bridge and estate home’s balconies.
To create this magnificent spectacle, the Horticulture Staff must start early—a full 10 months before the plants are put on display. The cascading chrysanthemum show begins in mid-January in greenhouses with cuttings from stock plants. In June, the plants are moved into production greenhouses.
Throughout the summer as the cascades grow, the plants are repotted; then they’re moved onto outdoor growing racks. The mums are sheared every few weeks throughout the growing season to ensure their fullness when it comes time for the bloom out in the fall.
The level of attention given to the mums when they’re transported in October in preparation for their peak blooming times is nothing shy of what doting parents bestow upon a newborn baby … and they’re worth it, too!
Moving the cascades is a delicate process, involving transporting sprawling mums one at a time to their respective positions throughout the gardens. The Horticulture Staff loads the plants onto wagons and carts before using specialized equipment to carefully hang the four-foot cascades along balconies of the Boehm Gallery of Porcelain and the Bellingrath Home.
It’s a spectacular display, and each year guests enjoy wandering the beautiful Gardens and taking in fall in all of its orange and golden-hued glory. Sure, it’s still a little too warm for hot cocoa while you stroll, but it’s the South … a sweet tea will do just fine.
A season for making memories
Like flowers, seasons pass and precious moments become treasured memories. Bring your family to Bellingrath Gardens and Home this November for the 53rd Annual Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums event, and make your own special holiday memories in place of near-heavenly beauty.