ANOTHER MUM IS TRYING TO WOO ME. This time it’s someone a lot less brash than my longtime one-and-only, but despite the quieter demeanor, it’s starting to grow on me. What do you think of ladylike ‘Sheffield Pink’ (or just plain ‘Sheffield,’ as it’s also called)?
‘Sheffield Pink’ has 3-inch-wide, pastel-pink blooms in October here, lasting a month or longer, and though the catalogs all describe them as “apricot-pink,” I don’t see any hint of orange in its blush. The plant will grow from about 2½ to 3 feet, and as with any garden mum will perform best if divided regularly and flower most prolifically if pinched once or twice. The routine:
When the first signs of growth appear in spring (May for me), dig the old plants and toss the oldest, woody bits, replanting vigorous divisions 18 inches apart. Note: There will be far more than you can use, especially if you haven’t divided in awhile.
Once the transplanted divisions settle in and get to about 6 inches high, around June here, pinch off (with fingers or a pruning shears) about ½ inch of topgrowth from the terminal point, repeating after another 6 inches or so of new growth is produced. This will encourage bushier plants. If you like a looser mum, pinch just once, and in either case don’t pinch after about mid-July (the approximate time here when buds set in earnest).
I know, I know; ‘Sheffield Pink’ isn’t ‘Will’s Wonderful,’ but for now it has this other detail to recommend it: ‘Sheffield Pink’ is available, while ‘Will’ is looking for a new mail-order home. Find ‘Sheffield Pink’ at Bluestone or Lazy S’s; stay tuned about where to find ‘Will’ perhaps in the coming spring. (UPDATE: Lazy S’s has ‘Will’ for sale now.)