Fall color is best depicted through garden mums. It is time
to say good-bye to our summer perennials and annuals and say hello to a
different palette. Chrysanthemums are hardy and come in a variety of bloom
shapes and colors. They provide that wonderful transition to the winter garden.
Their bloom time occurs during October into November.
At the Memphis Zoo, we have several Fall Displays to provide
your family a wealth of photo opportunities. There is a mum bed tucked in
between our Gift Shop and Education Buildings. This is its second season of
display. With pumpkins rolling around in the bed, it is made for Fall. At the
end of the Plaza, you will find hay bales with mums, some winter greens, corn
stalks, and gourds. There is plenty of room to squeeze the family in so you can
take pictures to share with friends.
By the Giraffe Feeding deck, is another Fall Display with
room for the neighborhood to sit. We added crotons to fill in the back with
corn stalks, mums, pumpkins and gourds.
After our Fall Display is over, we do re-use our mums in
perennial beds. We created a new mum bed by the Nile River at the end of our
Plaza. We will be adding more mums to this bed to fill in. We’ll also be using
them in the China exhibit areas.
To get that beautiful tight amount of mum color, you will
have to pinch the top growth every 5 weeks. That will create a lot of branching
which will produce the tight crop of color. It is very labor intensive but
impressive. We trim back the plants to about three to four inches above the
soil line. Add a one inch layer of compost around the plant material, not
smothering the plants. Then add ironite to each plant, one tablespoon per
plant. That keeps the plant glowing green all year.
Enjoy your next visit to the Memphis Zoo Fall Display.