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Mum's The Word

Driving through the neighborhoods of my hometown on this sunny fall afternoon, the colors of fall are shouting their last hurrah. Golden yellow plumes of solidago and purple asters, nod along the roadside The bright reds, oranges, and purple of the last of the zinnias in an occasional garden are not ready to give up just yet. Across the fields of drying cornstalks to the stone wall and beyond, the maple trees are ablaze in coats of red and yellow. Can it be that a short few months ago their gift of pure clear sap collected flowed from their veins to become a thick, sweet, amber syrup that will drown our winter breakfast of pancakes? The chipmunks and squirrels are scurrying beneath the mighty oaks, to collect and hide piles of acorns for winter sustenance. A dynamic landscape is telling the stories of the seasons.

And everywhere you look, there are Chrysanthemums; yellow, rust, bronze, purple, white, and orange. Fields and fields of thousands of mum plants. Huge farms, medium farms, and small farms employing hundreds of workers on hundreds of acres shipping “mums” up and down the entire east coast to garden centers, big box stores, grocery stores, and florists. We are proud that our town is known as the Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut.

A New England farming community we celebrate the seasons. Front steps and porches offer mums, and pumpkins as a warm invitation to visit. It’s time for the first fire in the fireplace, s’mores around the fire pit, and the sound of the high school Band, practicing for the annual fall competition. Soon we will don our sweatshirts to cheer our team at the annual Thanksgiving Day football game. It's a time to plant daffodils and tulip bulbs that will emerge in the spring to tell their own stories. A time to reflect on the season and, look forward to spring. The seeds and plants will rest. We will snuggle in and spend the cold winter days reflecting and recounting stories. We will peruse the seed catalogs and gardening books in anticipation of new floral stories to come. A typical fall season in CT.

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