Debra Prinzing

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Episode 582: It’s Mum Season with Harmony Harvest Farm’s Jessica Hall and Stephanie Duncan

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
Stephanie Duncan and Jessica Hall
Sisters Stephanie Duncan (left) and Jessica Hall (right) of Harmony Harvest Farm

This episode came together just in time for you to learn about two Mum-related events taking place virtually and in-person at Harmony Harvest Farm next weekend. A few days ago, I jumped in the recording studio to chat with long-time Slow Flowers members, sisters Stephanie Duncan and Jessica Hall of Harmony Harvest Farm.

Past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast (Episode 283, February 2017), Stephanie and Jessica farm with their partner and mom, Chris Auville in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Today, we’re going all in on MUMS. Featured in Southern Living magazine’s October 2022 issue, chrysanthemums are Harmony Harvest Farm’s signature flower and Jessica has been growing them for over a decade. Every year, Harmony Harvest propagates from more than 80 heirloom mother plants in addition to growing trial varieties of mums for international breeders.

the mum directory
Check out the full Mum Gallery here

There is a full complement of Mum educational content available at

Let’s jump right in and get started ~ I guarantee you’ll want to grow and design with these beautiful autumn blooms. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Click here to register for November 4th Virtual Mum Summit
and the November 5th Mum showcase taking place at Harmony Harvest Farm, including a design demonstration by celebrity floral designer TJ McGrath!

Mum Bouquet and field crops

You’ll also find links to Jessica’s online course THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO GROWING MUMS, and see a beautiful photo gallery of the mums you can grow if you’re in zones 3 to 9.

News of the Week

Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month

Thank you to all of our special guests who joined me on the Slow Flowers Podcast, on our Instagram Live on Tuesdays and in the Zoom Room each Thursday during the month of October — for Member Appreciation Month. We welcomed eight new members last month and the name of each was entered into a random drawing for a fantastic gift — our 3-year Perennial Membership — valued at $649. The winners are Elissa McKinley & Tylor Hine of Sweetpea Enterprises, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Congratulations! We’ll be in touch to share all the details!

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

And thank you to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at

Thanks to Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at

Thanks to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.

Music credits:

Algea Trio; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions


by Tryad

In The Field

Meet the new generation of mums

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Seatons Toffee, a 'quill' form with deep bronze petals.

I have great memories of the giant yellow chrysanthemum corsage my dad bought me for a college homecoming when I was a little girl. That curly ball of petals was so unwieldy it was hard to keep from crushing it with my chin. To me, that mum didn’t even feel real – it was like something from a fantasy world of my dreams.

My relationship with mums hasn’t really changed much since then. I’ve always kept them at arm’s length, both in garden design and in floral arranging.

The only time mums registered on my radar in the past decade was the celebrated arrival of ‘Kermit’, a lime green mum with a button-like flower that gained a huge following for its zesty color and knack for looking good in a vase for up to two weeks. But what about other mums?

Lots to learn

'Yoko Ono' is a top pompom-style mum with that awesome green hue.

Any ambivalence I’ve had about mums changed for the positive after I met two leading mum experts at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers annual symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma earlier this month.

On one of the long bus rides, I sat with Ray Gray of King’s Mums, an Oregon City, Ore.-based grower of “exhibition, specialty and vintage chrysanthemum rooted cuttings.”

Ray shared a bit of the story behind how he and his wife Kim purchased King’s Mums in 2008. The Grays are longtime wholesale nursery owners who were looking for ways to diversify their crops. They learned from Janet Foss, another grower, that King’s Mums was for sale.

'Yodogimi' is a semi-double mum with dark red petals tipped in gold.

For more than 40 years, the King family operated a huge Chrysanthemum-growing operation in Central California. The business served the amateur gardener and professional grower with more than 200 cultivars of exhibition and spray mums, one of the largest sources in the U.S.

After buying the business, Ray and Kim in January 2009 moved this amazing collection to their small family farm in Oregon City. They are carrying on the tradition begun by the Kings while also implementing new technologies and growing methods.

'Two Tone Pink' has petite pink-purple petals with white tips.

Ray gave me a copy of the King’s Mum catalog and right away I started drooling over the cultivars between the covers. As a cut flower choice, the mum is superb. The palette leans toward the warm end of the color spectrum, which is very en voguewith today’s floral designers: bronze, gold, terra cotta, salmon, champagne, orange, crimson, pink-red, lime green, apricot, burgundy, and all sorts of luscious bi-colored petal combinations. And of course, there are also pastel, cream and white flowers.

'Senkyo Kenshin' is a dark bronze 'spider' form - magical!

I know this is probably all old news to people in the National Chrysanthemum Society, and to specialty cut flower growers and their floral design clients. But I found it thrilling to meet Ray and learn how he and Kim are keeping alive this important cut flower category. Yes, I started to fantasize about growing some of these blooms in my own garden.

Note to self: King’s Mums is open to the public each October. Located about 20 minutes south of Portland (Oregon City is the end of the historic Oregon Trail), you can visit during business hours and see these yummy flowers up close and personal.

A beautiful punch of color comes from mums filling the hoop house at Bear Creek Farm.

There is another reason why mums stayed on my mind at the ASCFG conference. After meeting Ray and flipping through the beautiful flowers in his catalog, I was stunned to walk into one of Vicki Stamback’s hoop houses at Bear Creek Farms to discover rows of these very mums I’d just seen in that catalog.

I have to confess, I was a bit antisocial while skipping out of the demonstration of releasing beneficial insects in the greenhouse. But I wasn’t the only one climbing between the shoulder-high rows of mums, taking photos of these really superb blooms and making sure to jot down the name of each. These flowers were impossible to ignore as you can see here.

The following day, I sat in on “The Comeback of the Mum,” a presentation by Chehalis, Wash., grower Janet Foss. I learned enough to become a confirmed mum fanatic. You can read a summary of her presentation at A Fresh Bouquet.

I’ve got to share the rest of these incredible specimens: