From its humble little-yellow-daisy beginnings, the chrysanthemum has risen to dizzying heights of popularity and exploded in a bounty of forms and colors. Yet the flower's ubiquity somehow makes mums only more charming. They're the first choice of proud moms for homecoming corsages; their exquisite forms draw thousands to flower shows; and, come autumn, they dominate prime counter space at garden centers.
Many botanical gardens and even city parks show off plantings of mums in the fall, so be sure to check on locations close to home. Some places go above and beyond to create eye-popping displays, such as the chrysanthemum festivals at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (Nov 1-21), Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama (Nov 12-25), and the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon (Oct 9-17).