At a local greenhouse, they have a type of mum they’ve called “Not So Perfect” which is half the price of the “Perfect” mums.
They are just like the “Perfect” mums, except they are smaller, through no fault of the plant. Maybe they weren’t pinched back as they should have been, or were stuck on the end of a row, or didn’t get enough fertilizer and water at key points in their growth cycle.
I wouldn’t be afraid to buy some of these “Not So Perfect” mums. Added to a mixed fall planting, no one would notice they were “Not So Perfect”. Or if planted out in the garden, they are just as likely to end up as “Perfect” next year, as “Perfect” is to end up as ”Not So Perfect” next year.
There are plenty of “Perfect” mums for sale there, and they would make for a grand fall display.
But really, aren’t you more attracted to the “Not So Perfect” mums?
They are the fall equivalent of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, seeking the right owner, the right gardener, to buy them, care for them, and use them in such a way that no one notices their imperfections.
If you are fortunate enough to find some “Not So Perfect” mums for half-price, I recommend you buy a few of them, and then keep shopping at that same greenhouse for other plants because the presence of “Not So Perfect” says a lot about the owner, that she isn’t willing to charge full price for something that isn’t “Perfect”.
That’s the kind of person you want to buy your plants from!