Family relationships

I don’t want to bang on about chrysanths much more but one more post is relevant, I hope, and won’t annoy too many of you. With little thought I can say that ‘Mei Kyo’ is my favourite – of those I have anyway!

It is a semi-pompon in old rose with some flowers displaying a yellow eye because they are not completely double. Part of the attraction is the neat, compact habit and small foliage. It is not the best for cutting because the stems are so densely branched and intricate. When I was Head Gardener at Myddelton House and was restoring the garden there I added a number of chrysanths, though Bowles grew them mainly as cut flowers. Although I was pretty catholic in my tastes them, I did have a lot of very similar plants. I remember that I grew ‘Anastasia’, ‘Bronze Elegance’ and ‘Dr Tom Parr’ as well as ‘Mei Kyo’.

Now I only have ‘Mei Kyo’ and ‘Picasso’. The late Graham Stuart Thomas (Perennial Garden Plants) wrote that ‘Anastasia’ is soft heather pink and has a madder-brown form called ‘Dr Tom Parr and that ‘Mei Kyo’ is ‘Will Ingwersen’s little treasure from Japan’ and is similar to ‘Anastasia’ but later, darker and smaller and that it has sported to produce ‘Bronze Elegance’.

My ‘Mei Kyo’ is in a hurry to fill the garden with options and one flower has sported to produce a bloom with bronze colouring.

Meanwhile, I am not sure if ‘Picasso’ is a sport of any of these or was raised from seed. It is supposed to be quite rare and I am glad to have it.

Meantime, the plant I think is ‘Nantyderry Sunshine’ is a bright thing with similar habit. My plant was not bought as this and was obviously named wrongly. The confusion doesn’t end there though. According to where you look, It was a found at Nantyderry Farm in Wales by Glynne Clay as a sport on ‘Bronze Elegance’ OR it was found as a sport on ‘Mei Kyo’ by Mrs Rose Clay (in 1989). Both it, and ‘Mei Kyo’ have AGMs, which seems logical.

I am delighted to say that it is not just me that is enjoying these late blooms and the other day I spotted a comma (Polygonia C-album) on ‘Elaine’s Hardy White’. The day was still and warm and it was in no hurry as it probed each of the disc florets. It was a lovely late autumn moment for us both to savour before the wet weather to come.

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