Friday, September 24, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday on Friday - Asters

Last year when the asters looked about like this, something ate them down to the ground (along with about a third of the rest of our shade garden, while I was away visiting Mom.) This year the asters and other most vulnerable plants are fenced, and Liquid Fence, that lovely smelly stuff, has been applied after recently discovering one of our Japanese forest grasses had been grazed on.

This one is commonly known as small white aster. It may be Symphyotrichum lateriflorum. One volunteer was found at the edge of the lawn under a blackhaw viburnum last year. It was rescued from the lawn mower and added to the shade garden. One was a blogalong passalong from Gail.

I love their puffy cloud of blooms, gracefully-curved stems, and carefree nature.


Three smooth blue asters were added last year too. The bluish leaves play nicely with the other foliage colors here, and I love their sweet blue blooms.

Asters and other late-blooming native plants like goldenrod make wonderful additions to gardens, blooming at a time of year when flowers are generally less plentiful, adding color to the garden and providing valuable food for pollinators.


Wildflower Wednesday is the bloggers' celebration of native wildflowers begun by our dear Gail at Clay and Limestone, and held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Please visit her blog for links to more Wildflower Wednesday posts.





16 comments:

  1. Hi gardengirl
    I love asters. They always look so cheerful. I planted this year 3 new one too, but the snails munged them nearly completely to the ground *grrrr*.
    Greetings from a rainy switzerland
    Alex

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  2. Those soft fluffy asters are beautiful. I had trouble with the rabbits this year,they love the asters.

    Eileen

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  3. Those wraskaly wabbits ate all my asters down to the ground. I've gotta get some rabbit guard fencing or that good-smelling liquid stuff. Does it work?

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  4. I too love asters. They are one of my favorites at this time of year. I did not know they were bunny food though. I have them planted right out front of my house on display for any passing rabbit.

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  5. The native Asters that grow around my property are always teeming with butterflies so I do see why you said they are good for pollinators.

    I haven't tried Liquid Fence before. It sounds like an effective deterrent.

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  6. I love them too Alex! I'm sorry the slugs got yours. They ate a few holes in the leaves on ours, but the damage has been minor.

    The blooms are so tiny Eileen, but all together, they make a nice presence in the garden.

    The fences have worked well Carolyn, and I added Liquid Fence because I don't have the entire garden fenced. It works well as long as it's applied regularly. I'm also using it in a client's garden where deer are a big problem. They were eating everything until I started using Liquid Fence every week. They haven't touched a thing since early July when I started using it.

    I hope they don't bother them at your house Donna. What they eat seems to vary from garden to garden.

    I've seen bees and butterflies enjoying the asters Rosey. Native plants in general in our garden seem to be especially attractive to our pollinators.

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  7. I've grown to love asters, too, Linda. Such a welcome spot of blooming color this time of year. We certainly saw a lot of gorgeous ones yesterday, didn't we?

    I had such a great time with you and Diane and Monica yesterday. It's so much more fun to view a place like the Botanic Garden with true plant-lovers who also like to stop and read the tags or run their hands through soft foliage. I'm just glad the seed police weren't anywhere around:) Is your new header photo from the mums in the entryway to the Garden? They were certainly stunning. Thanks for such a wonderful day!

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  8. I have just added some asters to my garden for the first time this year, waiting to see how they do

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  9. We sure did Rose! It was wonderful hanging out at the Botanic Garden with you, Beckie, Diane, and Monica.

    I'm glad the seed police weren't around too. ;) Yep - the header is from those mums right outside the visitor's center. It was fun looking underneath to see exactly how they did that. The effect was indeed stunning.

    I'm so glad we were able to spend yesterday together. It was
    wonderful!

    I hope your new asters are very happy in your garden Helen, and hope you enjoy them.

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  10. Asters are so great this time of year! I added some Short's asters that are blooming well despite being new to the garden.

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  11. Linda, your header is gorgeous! And you got it on here so quickly. :) It was such fun seeing you and the girls again and getting to share the gardens. Like Rose says-always much more fun to see and share with friends who enjoy the same things as you. Your asters are as lovely as the ones we saw in the gardens. I am glad you are getting to enjoy them this year even if you have to hold your nose while doing so. Thanks again for a truly delightful day at the CBG!

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  12. Rose, I'm amazed how many different kinds of asters there are! Short's asters are new to me - glad to hear they're blooming for you!

    Thank you Beckie! Those mums were spectacular, and when I looked at the photos after I got back, I figured they'd make a nice header - glad you agree!

    It was wonderful seeing you again! I'm so glad you and Rose made the trip up here. I had so much fun with our little group, and it was wonderful visiting CBG again with our nice little group of spring fling alumni!

    Fortunately once the stinky stuff dries out, the smell dissipates. When I spray it though, I want to close the windows and hide out indoors until it dries. Phew!

    So glad you and Rose made it home safe and sound!

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  13. Lovely asters, Linda. Missed Gail's wildflower Wed but have so enjoyed other's posts. Happy October gardening :)

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  14. Thank you Joey! I'm so glad Gail started Wildflower Wednesday.

    Happy October gardening to you! :) Such a beautiful month, and the cooler temperatures are glorious.

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  15. Aren't asters wonderful? I ripped a bunch of mine out earlier this year (they had self-seeded) thinking they were weeds. HA! Hope yours are left standing. If they're not, don't look at me; I only cause havoc in my own garden, HA!

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  16. I LOVE asters Monica, (in spite of their floppiness.) They're EVERYWHERE in the woods and along the sides of roads around here, as they were on my road trip and at Mom's too. It wouldn't be fall without asters! :)

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