Longwood Gardens’ Chrysanthemum Festival
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA trained this towering single-stemmed chrysanthemum with over 700 blooms for their annual Festival of Chrysanthemums, a lovely site as you enter their Conservatory. Chrysanthemums of different hues and topiary shapes including butterflies and spirals appear around every corner. Thirteen million feet of wire are used by Longwoods’ staff to hold the chrysanthemums in place. One flower bud from each stem has been trained – all other buds snipped – so that a single bud at the top of each branch stores the energy to create the large flowers.
Grafting techniques – cutting a split in each base of a plant stem and then carefully inserting the grafted stem into the split – results in a single chrysanthemum with over 100 cultivar blooms grafted on it. Again beaucoup wire is needed to support the heads which are wilted and then watered every 10 days to help form the dome.