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Autumn…a season that captivates the senses. Rich, bold colors of red and gold leaves mixed with the fading green that we called summer. Fall is about harvest, abundance and a time to begin going within to prepare for the long winter months ahead.

Alongside the road, cattails, millet and bittersweet berries beckon us; evoking the desire to pick pumpkins, sip hot cider and begin planning the upcoming holidays. And, of course,  mums….the glorious fall flower that introduces us to the change of season. Vibrant yellow, china white, rustic reds and browns. It’s hard to pass by a market without placing one in your basket bought from the furniture store, all the while envisioning this harvest display of pumpkins and flowers on the front  porch welcoming trick or treaters. Some interesting facts about this very versatile flower:

Next to the rose the chrysanthemum is one of the most popular flowers in the world. Chrysanthemums are tropical flowers native to Asia and northeastern Europe. They were first introduced to the Western world in the 17th century. These flowers contain a chemical called pyrethrum which helps naturally repels most bugs. In Feng Shui these flowers are believed to bring happiness and laughter. Often used in both Eastern and Western cultures medicinally, these flowers are brewed in teas, used as a relaxant, helps head congestion and strengthens lungs. Chrysanthemums have a very long vase life, often 2 weeks and beyond. Leaves will die first so be sure to snip off old leaves so flowers stay looking fresh.

And finally, a quote to ponder on this delightful flower:

“Every year, in November, at the season that follows the hour of the dead, the crowning and majestic hours of autumn, I go to visit the chrysanthemums … They are indeed, the most universal, the most diverse of flowers.”

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-Maurice Maeterlinck