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.