It is when the summer has lost its beauty and gone. While autumn turns into red, orange and yellow. When the sun refuses to shine and the rain drops are cold and damp. Just before all the deciduous trees are naked and bare….. It is when the Chrysanthemum flowers bloom. Roses declare themselves as the summer queens, but during the dreary days that follow, the Chrysanthemums are indeed the autumn queens……
The weather forecasts lately say that the temperatures will feel colder. Like last night, they said that today was going to be 14 deg. C in Melbourne, but would feel like 10 degrees, and it is true that it is cold today. This year the Chrysanthemums in our garden are not doing so good with only few flowers. The mauve pink ones that always flowered every year in the past ten years or so are not growing at all. It seems that they have disappeared completely. Usually they have started to sell Chrysanthemums few weeks before mother’s day, but I haven’t seen them in the shop. I saw few were sold in the market but they did not look so good.
Common Chrysanthemum synonyms: Dendranthema, Mums, Chrysanth.
My White Chrysanthemum
As purely white as is the drifted snow,
More dazzling fair than summer roses are,
Petalled with rays like a clear rounded star,
When winds pipe chilly, and red sunsets glow,
Your blossoms blow.
Sweet with a freshening fragrance, all their own,
In which a faint, dim breath of bitter lies,
Like wholesome breath mid honeyed flatteries;
When other blooms are dead, and birds have flown,
You stand alone.
Fronting the winter with a fearless grace,
Flavoring the odorless gray autumn chill,
Nipped by the furtive frosts, but cheery still,
Lifting to heaven from the bare garden place
A smiling face.
Roses are fair, but frail, and soon grow faint,
Nor can endure a hardness; violets blue,
Short-lived and sweet, live but a day or two;
The nun-like lily bows without complaint,
And dies a saint.
Each following each they hasten them away,
And leave us to our winter and our rue,
Sad and uncomforted; you, only you,
Dear, hardy lover, keep your faith and stay
Long as you may.
And so we choose you out from all the rest,
For that most noble word of “Loyalty,”
Which blazoned on your petals seems to be;
Winter is near, stay with us; be our guest,
The last and best.
Written by Susan Coolidge (1835 – 1905)