A touch of autumn colour

‘Colwell Galaxy’ grows to 1.2m with dazzling flowers

As yet I have no asters (symphyotrichum) in the garden. Trees and shrubs have had to come first and good asters, as opposed to the stunted specimens in small pots sold for instant display, have not been available when I have gone looking. So I will have to wait a bit longer or send off to a specialist in spring to get what I need. There is a huge variety among these plants and I am very fond of them because of the wonderful display they provide in autumn. They are loved by bees and butterflies too.

Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis is a Canadian species with lilac flowers

They are not perfect though. Most need regular division, especially the Novi-belgii types which are very prone to mildew. They are best, and least prone to mildew, if they are divided and replanted every two years or every year, in spring, and that means you need easily-worked soil which does not describe the sticky lumps I have at the moment. Most are also rather dull for most of summer while they build up energy for their autumn displays. But they are so spectacular in autumn that they can be forgiven for this.

Years ago when I grew a lot, plants such as the old ‘Climax’ would barely reach 1m high with masses of thin stems if neglected, leaves ragged with mildew. But when divided and replanted as single shoots stems would top 1.5m and be healthy and covered in bloom.

The late-flowering types, which are roughly divided into the Novi-belgii types and the Novae-angliae, have flowers in a wide range of colours, though there are also other species, equally charming, which tend to have smaller flowers and a more delicate appearance. All are derived from North American native species.

Trawling through my photo library, for plants other than asters, I found these and thought they deserved an airing, just because they are so colourful – necessary after yesterday’s dull photos of mud.

‘Miss K E Marsh’ grows to 90cm with lilac pink blooms

Just by chance, all are of Novae-angliae asters. These rarely get mildew and the leaves are usually covered in rough hairs, unlike their cousins. However, I do not like them as much as the Novi-belgii types because they tend to be more upright, with no branching except at the top of the stems and they hold their blooms on rather congested clusters rather than airy sprays. The Chelsea chop will sort their habit problems.

‘Andenken An Alma Potschke’ reaches 1.5m and is the best known, but the flower colour is rather harsh to my eyes

, , , ,

2 Comments on “A touch of autumn colour”

  1. derrickjknight
    November 12, 2019 at 11:00 am #

    A good display

  2. tonytomeo
    November 25, 2019 at 1:52 am #

    These are enviable because they are not even available here. I am not certain about that of course. It is not as if I buy many things from nurseries. Asters of some sort were grown as a cut flower crop on the cost many years ago, and might still be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: