Yes, it's that time of year again. The 2000 or so Korean chrysanthemums up at the Conservatory Garden in the north end of Central Park are busting out in their annual late October show destined to make you smile and stare in awe at the range of colors and forms before you.
The seed of these classic mums was originally gifted to the garden by Mrs. Lasker in honor of her mother back in 1947 if I remember correctly. Every year the 2000 plants are grown locally and planted in the garden in May, then grown all season, pruned in order to be made bushier and more full, and explode with this amazing mix every fall.
Korean chrysanthemums are actually sun loving perennials but in order to make room for the 20,000 tulip bulbs planted each November these plants have to be treated like annuals and pulled every year. ...but don't worry, the plants are not just thrown away, they are transplanted and reused in other areas where they can continue to grow and flourish or they are recycled and become compost to feed next years crop.
(...and alas these would be the only shots I would get this year before the unbelievable storm that hit the last weekend in October causing such devastation to the park, including the premature razing of these displays along with the thousands of trees and shrubs horribly affected. but for pics of the mums from years past just click on the tags below. -aef 11.2.11)