Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mum's the Word

MUM'S THE WORD:  "If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums," a Chinese philosopher once said.  And the Chinese should know -- they've been cultivating this incredible flower since the 15th century BC (although these ancient growers might not recognize the mums of today with their more showy display of petals).  You can enjoy these amazing creatures as textiles (such as the Japanese Chrysanthemum collection by Phillip Jacobs for Westminster); as art (that is, if you can wrangle this brilliant Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting); or as a show-stopping rug ("Chrysanthemum Spring" from Decorative Carpets in West Hollywood, California).  Whatever form you choose, you can't go wrong with this most underrated of blooms.  STYLE TIP: Make as big a bouquet as possible, mixing colors and types of mums, allowing them to spill out and over the vase.  Use solid cloth napkins in the same colors as the flowers on your dining table arrangement.  FINAL NOTE: Don't worry, be happy, grow chrysanthemums.