As the chillier days of October start to creep in, most of us are longing to hold on to summer just a little longer. And if you’re feeling a bit like a flower child as we head into fall you can always take a trip to the annual Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival beginning October 25. The four-acre conservatory will be home to more than 80,000 chrysanthemum blooms that have been grown and trained into breathtaking forms including balls, cascades, shields, spirals and a 10-foot tall chandelier. The pièce de résistance of the festival is the Thousand Bloom Mum which contains over 1,300 flowers arranged in a perfect 11-foot half-sphere.
What began with the Asian tradition of ozukuri (the thousand bloom display) and chrysanthemum festival in both China and Japan, has been replicated here and is one of the largest Thousand Bloom Mum outside of Asia. As Longwood Gardens follows traditional methods it can take anywhere from 11-18 months to cultivate the flowers to the correct shape and form. To celebrate this history and tradition the Philadelphia Chapter of Ikebana International, Ameriseki Group of the N.A. Viewing Stone Society and the Brandywine Bonsai Society will also be hosting a special ikebana and bonsai exhibit during the festival.