One Tank Trip: Mum Mountain

It's funny how sometimes things just seem to work out.

It's funny how sometimes things just seem to work out.

"The mountain was by sheer accident," said Carol Ott.

The fact that Mum Mountain at Ott's Exotic Plants wasn't intentional doesn't make it any less impressive.

It's a photo op, a roadside attraction and a must-see on your autumn to-do list.

For the Otts, it's a way of life.

"He always had a dream of building a nice garden center," Ott explained, referring to her father-in-law, Godfrey Ott, who started growing flowers across the street.

"He had some greenhouses and sold plants, actually horse and buggy," Ott said. "They would take plants on a cart down to Norristown and sell right from the cart."

In 1964, he opened Ott's Exotic Plants and soon after made way for a parking lot.

"They excavated the parking lot and they had this mound of soil here, which grew an abundance of weeds," Ott explained.

So, Godfrey told his sons to dig up some mums in their fields and plant them up on the pile. It was quite a spectacular sight, and that's when the people started showing up.

"And that was in the '60s, and people came from miles around just to see it," Ott said.

A staircase takes you to the top, and a tunnel underneath comes out on the other side.

Mum Mountain is just off Route 29 in Schwenksville, Montgomery County. It changes from year to year, depending on the weather.

There could be as many as 10,000 mums blooming. This time, there are about 6,000.

This year's rain did a number on the mountain, but the colors are still vibrant.

Mum Mountain is 40 feet high and 175 feet wide.

From the top, you can see the fields where the boys pulled the mums from more than 50 years ago.

"It's a passion for the whole family, and I think if it wasn't a passion we would have done away with it long ago," Ott said.

You'll be glad they didn't.