Actually, I do have two gigantic pots of mums that were purchased from a work colleague’s kid (to fund a soccer team or something). At only $8 each, they are way huge for their tiny pots—indeed scarily so. (I have to think they’re overfertilized.) Nonetheless, I brought them home and stuck them in a couple patio pots I had previously emptied. But then my husband begged me to get rid of them, saying they looked like they were left over from a funeral. So we tossed.
The fact is, mums are never necessary here, because we find that most potted annuals last well into October. Some of them survive until a real hard freeze, which is something we don’t see until Halloween, most years. In the meantime, we’ve been enjoying honey-scented lobularia (shown here), mistflower, eupatorium, annual ageratum, and other annuals/autumn perennials—all of them much cooler looking than mums. I also really like grasses in fall, which color and occasionally flower as the season wends to a close. And ornamental kale are magnificent.
Yet, I still see all these yellow, red, and orange mounds of mums in front of corporate sites and in other public plantings, most of them browning up within a week of placement. I wish people could get off the mum pipe. There are so many wonderful alternatives.