Arrrrgh, curse you, american garden magazines!! Paging through Fine Gardening's delicious Autumn Garden publication, I spied the most gorgeous hardy mums:
Emperor of China - 3 to 4 feet tall
Pacific chrysanthemum - cute groundcover
J. C. Weigelan and Mei-kyo are also lovely. WE WANTS SOME, PRECIOUSSSS. But I can't find them anywhere! Checked all my catalogues, checked the online catalogues of a couple of local garden centres, phoned another one. I'm not 100% sure these are even actually hardy here...the pacific ones would be OK, since the flowers are sort of secondary to the cool foliage anyway, but Emperor of China apparently doesn't bloom until late October, and then dies with the first heavy frost...which would be pushing it here, I think. Sniff!