By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s called a 1,000-bloom chrysanthemum, although this one has 1,416 flowers.

Who’s counting? Well, the crew at Longwood Gardens who got it to grow that way. They’ve trained in this ancient Asian art – a painstaking 18-month process of pinching, caging, and otherwise coercing a single plant to produce over 1,000 perfectly-spaced flowers in a 12-foot wide dome.

Not enough for you? You’ll also see mums grown in the shape of shields, and stupendous suspended spheres arranged into arches along with the wonder of 100 mum cultivars coaxed into a coordinated chorus of color.

Such horticultural feats are fascinating to me – both a celebration of Nature and a demonstration of the human desire to dominate and improve upon it by going to great lengths to control how plants grow.

Get a peek at, then get to the Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival by November 24th.

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