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In a mums rut? Local experts can help

In a mums rut? Local experts can help

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Some people love fall mums. Others ... not so much.

Still, those oh-so-familiar mums are easy to find, easy to transport and, quite frankly, look right at home alongside pumpkins, corn husks and all those colorful leaves that will soon be covering your lawn and flower beds.

While some people plant hardy garden mums in the ground, others use readily available mums to decorate their doorstep. (If you want to read about planting hardy mums, here is a column that Sally Cunningham wrote last September. She talks about other fall bloomers, too.)

But we're talking decorating with mums here. Recently, we turned to some local creative people and asked them this: What can we do with mums other than just plop them on the porch in their plastic pots?

Here are some suggestions, just in time for your fall decorating:

Cathy McGovern, Trillium's Courtyard Florist, 2195 Kensington Ave.,  Amherst

"One of our favorite ways to display fall flowering plants, such as hardy mums and flowering kale, is in a large rustic basket trimmed with decorative fall accents that can be reused year after year.

"This makes a great gift that the recipient can enjoy during the fall season," she said.

• • •

John M. Hochadel, from Flowers, etc. and longtime Garden Walk Buffalo participant

Come cooler weather, Hochadel likes mums. "But when it's hot, they last a day and they are gone," he said.

He shared two design ideas for once those cooler days arrive for good.

For one, he planted mums in the liner of a black faux-wicker, weather-resistant planter and added preserved red oak leaves, curly willow branches and small pumpkins.

In the other, he replaced a tired summer plant with fresh mums, but kept the ivy and other trailers still healthy in the container. Done!

• • •

Pamela Witte, interior designer

Witte kept it simple – plant fall mums in a colorful ceramic pot.

"I picked up these blue Mediterranean blue ceramic pots several years ago. They came from JoAnn fabrics and they were 60 percent off," she recalled.

She hauled them home and has used them ever since, at both her previous and current home.

In the summer she plants them with brightly colored million bells. Come fall, she switches to mums. This year, she opted for the cranberry red color.

"I just love looking out back and seeing them," she said.

• • •

Liz Seefeldt runs a small decorating business. Her home was recently featured as a Buffalo News Home of the Week

Seefeldt incorporates mums into a large fall display in front of her home.

A thrift store shopper, she found a pair of striped pots that are perfect for mums. They cost $12 for the pair. Take a look:

• • •

Do you like decorate with mums? We would love to see a photo of what you have done with them.

Please email hi-res images (in JPEG form) to

Be sure to include your name and the city or town in which you live and tell us who took the photograph. We also ask you to give us permission, via email, to publish the photo online.

In other mum news, the Chrysanthemum (Mum) Exhibit runs Oct. 5 to Nov. 3 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. It's the Botanical Gardens’ oldest flower exhibit, celebrating its 119th anniversary.

This year's exhibit has a spooky theme – MUMster Mash.

You can read all the details here.

Mums are a favorite for fall, but it's not too late to celebrate those fabulous summer blooms.  Readers sent in photos for an online, end-of-the-season gallery. Take a look:

WNY gardeners' summer stunners


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Q: Howdy, Tim. I discovered on that you’ve been a master plumber for forty years. I recently moved from a city house on a city sewer to a rural retirement home that has a septic tank. What can you tell me about septic tanks? At my last home I had clogging issues in my main drain pipe, and the drain-cleaning man said the issue was grease. What are some best practices when it comes to drain lines in any house and how does one keep them flowing well at all times? —Frank T., Johnston, R.I.

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