Monday, September 7, 2009

By September of last year my garden was completely done. Poor planning on my part, I ran out of blooming plants before I ran out of sunny, late summer days.

This year I made a big effort to add late bloomers to carry me through to at least the middle of September when nights get cold and sometimes early frosts put an end to the gardening season.



Today's featured plant is the Michaelmas daisy, New York aster or novae-belgii, call it by any of these names, it's the same perfectly lovely little plant. This is my first year growing them and so far I'm delighted. They are very like the little Jim Crockett boltonia I featured previously. Compact, neat, only about two feet tall and covered in blooms.

I love the bright electric magenta color. I also have a bluer toned version planted later in the summer and not very big yet.



I had made a note this time last year to look for aster Blue Bird, symphyotrichum laeve but so far haven't been able to find it. Next spring I will order it from Blue Stone much as I hate mail order for most plants.



This last photo is very poor and I apologize. I wanted to show the tiny Pearl Crescent butterfly on the bloom. Wish there was such a thing as a shade loving butterfly. They are always active during the sunniest hours and photos tend to wash out badly in strong sunlight. Also, I should have cropped it more. Anyway, you can trust me, the Pearlies like this plant a lot.


I'm hoping these asters do well in my garden and return next spring. I purchased these at Home Depot and highly recommend them.

30 comments:

Jan said...

This is my second year with asters, and I, too, just love them. Mine have been blooming for about the last two weeks. Every spring, more pop up at the base of the mother plant which is just fine with me. More of a great plant to spread around.

Jan
Always Growing

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I have a similar aster that comes back year after year. I've always loved fall, so my garden actually looks pretty good in fall. There's always a lull between spring and summer ,though!

Dog_geek said...

I'm definitely lookng for more blue/purple to add to my flower beds next year. I have too much yellow right now - I need something to break it up a little! When do these asters begin blooming?

Daffodil Planter said...

I am very happy with Aster frikartii 'Monch'--lavender, floppy, tough, and has been blooming for a month already here in 7b/8a.

Sp glad I found your blog today! Added you to my blogroll. BTW our dog is a breed rescue and she is a keen gardener.

sweet bay said...

I love the asters too. The NE asters have such vivid color. My Blue Wood Aster is blooming now and my last one will start blooming around Halloween.

Rose said...

I agree the asters certainly brighten up the garden in September. Mine would look very faded without them. And they certainly are butterfly magnets! I am really paying attention these days to what is blooming in everyone's garden, because I could certainly use a little more color in the fall.

ShySongbird said...

When we first moved into our house (too many years ago to mention!) there were some lovely Michaelmas Daisies which came back year after year. Stupidly, and I really can't remember why, one year I got rid of them :( Over the years, since, I have planted others, none of which have survived, judgement on me I think!

Yours are lovely, so cheerful in the late Summer. I enlarged the last photo and what a beautiful butterfly that is!

Judy said...

Marnie, those asters are lovely! I should see about getting some, as I admire the wild ones so much, although they are ragged! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jann said...

I esp. love the first photo! There are several types of 'blue asters' that grow wild in the Black Hills, and they are keeping country drives more scenic right now, along with the goldenrod.

tina said...

I think your asters look great and I bet they'll return most happy next year. Those New England asters are hard to beat.

troutbirder said...

They are something. I'm trying to establish several wild/native varities. On one of my friends resored prarie, some continue blooming here on the tundra into November.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Your asters/daisies are gorgeous. I haven't tried to grow them --but they certainly are gorgeous. I might just have to try them!!!!!

Your flowers are butterflies are always great. Thanks for sharing!

Have a great Labor Day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love these asters. I only have the tall wild aster in my garden though. It seems the smaller ones can't get enough sun to make them viable. Cheers and Happy Labor Day. I hope you are at home enjoying yourself or doing anything but working elsewhere.

Gail said...

Hi Marnie, I have these sweetie pie asters~~From a big box store last year...They did return! Gardening is always about learning~~As much as I love The Susans; I need more variety in the sunny bed if I want to attract lots of pollinators. Have a good day. gail

pat said...

I have not tried the asters...I continue to struggle with plants that do great one year and poorly the next. My all time favorite so far is the cone flowers, I think i will concentrate on those, I love the color, the casual stance they take...I just wish something would quit eating them up!

Connie said...

I have Michaelmas daisy which I bought in a gallon pot at a fall nursery close-out sale for $1.00.....THREE years ago! I hope this is the year it makes it into the ground. :-)

Patsi's 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Yet another plant I never heard of.
Planning a bed is not so easy...live and learn.
Great combo of the daisy and sedum.
Don't know how many daisy plants you have...sure have tons of flowers. I like these a lot.

Dawn said...

Little asters are such the sweetest flower. I'll have to check a bunch of the ones around here for the butterflies, I've a feeling I'm missing some.

BeadedTail said...

I just love the color of these flowers! What a pretty addition to any garden!

Rosey Pollen said...

These are fantastic looking, Marnie!
I guess I am used to my cameras mediocre photos because I think your last one was FINE! Thanks for the post on Asters, they are such a great fall choice for late color!
Rosey

ChrisND said...

I really like our purple aster. We only have one though...so we might have to get more. It is one of the last blooms in our fall garden.

Kathleen said...

I noticed that same problem last fall too Marnie (lack of late bloomers) and it was funny I never took note until I started blogging! I tried to make up for it also but I'm not sure how successfully? The daisy looks great. I tried a couple asters (only one survived the winter) but don't know about the blue bird one? I hope you can find it.

Carol said...

I love the Michaelmas daisies and the monarch butterflies do too... I use to have hundreds of plants ... not sure what happened to them but there are seedlings here and there... like you I always mean to do more late bloomer plantings. The wild asters are blooming now but alas!... no Monarchs to be seen!

► Abraham Lincoln said...

The flowers are beautiful. I had a Pearl Crescent butterfly here last week for a couple of days. I have not seen it lately but its wings were in bad shape so I suspect he can no longer fly.

Thank you very much for visiting My Birds Blog and for the comment you left me there about my chipping sparrow photograph. My Birds Blog

TC said...

Have you ever heard the common name "Summer Farewells?" That's what my mother calls fall asters. Appropriately named too I think.

And I've been getting your comments. I'm trying out a new comment application called Disqus. Maybe it's taking it a while to adjust to Google Blogger.

Susie said...

Nice Marnie. They are pretty. Wish I had some in my beds as they look pretty pathetic.

Naturegirl said...

Love seeing the late autumn blooms in the garden! I love what TC had to say" Summer Farewells" nice way of thinking about our autumn gardens still giving us a burst of color!hugs aNNa

JC said...

I have asters in my front yard. Fourteen years they've been lighting up my driveway.

walk2write said...

I think mums are overrated. Asters are the plant for fall and so long-lived--just not here (sigh). I still remember a neighbor in Paducah who had her front flower bed brimming with the most gorgeous bluish ones. I always praised them, hoping she would dig and share, but she never got the hint.

Jean said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to look out for those. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who's stuck photographing butterflies in the blinding sun, ha!