I am a sucker for peach-colored flowers, and I think those of ‘Sheffield Pink’ mum (Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’), bursting forth from October 11 to November 7, are the most spellbinding blooms of the entire fall season.
Not only are the blooms pretty, but the plant itself is durable and will return year after year. This is not your typical disposable garden mum. The ferny foliage comes up thickly and early, staying in a tight bun most of the summer and ballooning upward and outward shortly before the countdown begins to tick. Rust-colored buds stand at the ready for a week before popping open. When they do, they reveal dreamy peach-pink petals and a sunny yellow disk.
Plants do not need pinching if grown in full sun. Unpinched plants are tall—to 3-foot—but blooms are packed cheek by jowl from the ground to the apex, with no room for any slackers to slouch. ‘Sheffield Pink’ is resilient enough to withstand several light frosts, and it is usually natural senescence that does in the flowers before the cold. The blooms are immensely popular with pollinators and will draw in a surprisingly large crowd of bees and butterflies that are still active in the fall.
They make crazy-long-lasting cut flowers, though they are a mite stinky.