I'm in trouble.

I need to find some greenhouse or nursery that has mums . . . which are unfortunately considered more of a "fall" plant. If anyone has been to any greenhouse and knows for sure that they have mums could you let me know as I desperately want to buy some -- preferably yellow and red, but other colors will do in a pinch.

OK, now the rest of the story . . . why, you might be asking yourself, is FFJake so in need of mums . . . is he going all flower-child on us?

Well, it's like this.

About four or five years ago my wife's father suddenly and unexpectedly died. Being a guy I can never remember the exact date (I have a hard enough problem remembering my wife's birthday and for the longest time thought it was on Groundhog's Day -- for the record it is the day before Groundhog's Day on February 1st), but it was in October (I think) since the florist recommended mums for the funeral service.)

After the funeral my wife took a couple of the mums home and said she planned to plant them since mums are supposed to grow back year after year.

The next Spring she kept looking and looking, but nothing appeared and she seemed to be quite disappointed (I have since found out that in Maine mums often will not come back due to the extreme cold) so I did something a bit dishonest -- I went to the nearby greenhouse, bought some mums in full bloom, sheared off every single flower right there in the parking lot and cut the plant down (the greenhouse guy said to do so after the flowers had died off and by Fall I would have more flowers -- of course he didn't know I was planning on cutting the flowers off right there and then) and I planted them where we had placed the original mums. By this point my wife had sort of given up on the mums so she was no longer looking for them to appear . . . so at some point a few days later I mentioned the mums seemed to have appeared. I can't tell you how much joy it brought to her when she thought about having something as simple as a mum that would remind her of her Dad.

. . . and so for the past four or five years I have dutifully gone to the local greenhouse, bought a pair of mums and cut off every flower before planting them. One year I even messed up and planted the wrong color flower . . . but I don't think she noticed.

In any case, last year the greenhouse owners sold their business to a new owner and the new folks didn't grow any mums this spring. While I thought this wouldn't be a problem I am now finding that many greenhouses don't grow mums in the Spring.

While I suppose I could break down and confess my lie to my wife I would rather continue with this little tradition of mine since I know my wife still finds some comfort in seeing the mums come back, especially since this was a very difficult death for her . . . although I suspect when I die she might notice that the mums are no longer "growing" back.

So . . . if anyone knows of any greenhouse with mums I would really, really appreciate you letting me know. I'm willing to drive as far as I need to and pay whatever for these flowers.