The first time I saw them, I was astounded. These did not look at all like what I thought chrysanthemums should look like! I was completely taken with the patterns of the petals and the beautiful colours - creamy whites, buttery yellows, and variations of pink and purple. So beautiful!
Many people in this area of Japan take the challenge of growing chrysanthemums very seriously and participate in exhibitions where the best of the best are chosen. One such exhibition is being held close-by and so we went to take a look. The best will be chosen next week but no matter. Just looking at the various entries was enough. They ranged from sets of huge single blooms to low bushes completely covered in tiny flowers. There were also a few "odd-ball" varieties with spikey petals or unusual colouring (think orange tinged with purplish-brown) as well as bushes trained to grow in certain shapes.
All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. And, yes, I did come home with two chrysanthemum plants. Now it's my turn to try!
(I didn't buy the single-bloom type though! I'm not quite ready for that yet.)