MAGNIFICENT MUMS - October 25, 2011
Hamilton Fall Garden & Chrysanthemum Show Gage Park Tropical Greenhouses
Another unique autumn event to the City is the annual Mum Show. This felt like a full circle moment for me, since it’s an event I’ve been to as a child, and now I got the chance to view it with fresh eyes and include it as part of our Tour. It was the 91st Annual Hamilton Fall Garden Chrysanthemum Show, held at Gage Park, and I was astounded to learn that the event has been around for that long.
Each year there is a different theme and it certainly didn’t take long to realize what this year’s theme was. A huge, bright red fire truck was parked outside Gage Park’s Tropical Greenhouses and, of all places, it was from Rockton. (We had just visited Rockton as a tour stop.) If the fire truck wasn’t enough of a clue, there were more trucks inside, along with creative displays of chrysanthemums, incorporating firemen, fire hydrants, and a dalmation. You guessed it – this year’s theme was Fire. Most of the chrysanthemums were warm shades of red, gold, yellow, orange, pink, and white to go along with the theme. There were also smaller groups of mums in cooler shades of lavender and deep purple sprinkled throughout the greenhouse. It was a stunning sight to walk into the Mum Show and see such a brilliance of colour and be struck with the sweet, flowery smell.
There were many extravagant displays of mums conveying the fire theme – one was a fire-breathing dragon, made up entirely of chrysanthemums, excluding the wings, but including the fire shooting out of its mouth. Another display centred around a cozy fireplace setting, featuring a carpet and couch cushions comprised of colourful mums.
Another section of the show featured various vendors selling home-made items such as crafts and canned preserves. I picked up some rhubarb jelly as I meandered through.
Venturing over into another greenhouse, which is open year-round, it felt like stepping into a tropical rainforest. There were a plethora of plants and several different types of birds. All of the green, leafy foliage was a stark contrast to the warm-coloured mums in the next building. I was also pleased to see that The Aviary had a booth set up in the greenhouse. We visited the Aviary back in June as a tour stop and really enjoyed it, so I thought it was neat to see it pop up again.
The Mum Show was a picture-perfect addition to our fall tour stops and is a lovely tradition in the City that is worth a visit every year. Next year’s theme is The Jungle – I’ll be planning my leopard print outfit in advance!