Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Favorite

A hard frost last night. Nasturtiums are gone, and several shrubs including the hydrangeas took a hit and even the 'Sheffield Pink' mums that were just blooming got blasted. The bright yellow foliage of the bottlebrush buckeyes was just coming out and now it's brown. Just when colors were at their best a cold night ruined many.

But you want purple, we got it. This is aromatic aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'Raydon's Favorite' and I can see why it is a favorite.

It is a reliable bloomer, it is full and bushy and the leaves have an old fashioned perfumed scent. The aster flowers don't scent the air, they are not fragrant -- it's the foliage that has an aroma but only when touched.

The original aster was planted at the arbor entrance to the gravel garden. It was supposed to grow under the star magnolia, to complement it as the magnolia grew taller and the aster filled in under it. But the aster has pretty much overtaken the magnolia and blocked the swinging gate as well. Still, I love it there.

Not only does it fill the arbor entrance and block the gate, it spills over to the other side of the border too.

I dug divisions of this original plant and put them in other gardens. Now big purple mounds anchor the back side of the driveway garden too.

I put a division under the guest room window, beneath a standard-stemmed dwarf ginkgo. This is the first year for this combination of aster and ginkgo, and I hope the little tree turns bright yellow soon as ginkgos are supposed to in fall. Yellow and purple. Gaudy. I can't wait.

I planted a division of the original plant in the Blueberry Garden too, under the 'Forest Pansy' redbud, and so far this is working better than the plant under the magnolia -- this time the aster is rounded and fits below the redbud tree in a nice combination.

This aster, so easy and so reliable, has become a favorite, not just of Raydon Alexander, the propagator, but in my garden too.

Oh, and we got red too. This is sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum, in all its fall glory. I am showing it here because I can, and because it has always been a favorite in my garden.

No comments:

Post a Comment