Mums are starting to fade and some growers swore to you they were perennial, right? You planted them last year and initially they came up, then died. What did you do wrong? Nothing, I assure you. Mums are shallow rooted and sometimes spring freezing and thawing will heave them out of the ground and they actually die from lack of water.
They came up but grew tall and straggly. Well, did you pinch them a couple of times during the growing season? Professional growers do just that to cause them to bunch up and form those lovely, smooth mounds. Natural growth is what you see when they are not pinched. Either way is pretty, but your expectations probably need adjusting.
Mums need to be separated and moved about every other year. They are prone to diseases and this keeps them healthy. In the spring take a small spade and cut the clump into quarters. Then pick a new location in your garden or share with a neighbor.
Now is the time to bring in all your house plants. (Inspect for bugs.)When the night temps are around 40 degrees or below, they must come in. Initially the new acclimation will cause them to drop leaves. Probably they will recover; don’t over water. Some easily adjusted plants are spider plants, asparagus fern, and wandering jew. A pot of geraniums will thrive in a bright window and bloom most of the winter.
MURDER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a COZY MYSTERY set in the Fall in small town America, Hubbard, NY.
Oops. I threw out the geranium. There is always next year. Your flowers growing up the fence are lovely.