In many European countries these lovely golden flowers, (that’s the origin of their name chrusos is gold in Greek) are the symbol of death. So don’t buy a bunch as a thank-you gift. Your host might take a step back in horror! They are on sale everywhere in October, as it is the custom to put flowers on the tombs of departed relatives for Toussaint  All Saints’ Day on 1stNovember. One advantage of having a house that overlooks a cemetery is that the view from our dining room window becomes more and more colourful each day, as people arrive with armfuls of potted plants. Chrysanthemums can now be bought in all colours, so for a month we can see a mosaic of orange, yellow, red and purple. (See CEMETERIES)

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