CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Berkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Asters: the stars of the garden this autumn

PUBLISHED: 11:47 17 October 2014

This novi-belgii Marie Ballard mauve double aster is always going to impress

This novi-belgii Marie Ballard mauve double aster is always going to impress


The autumn garden can be a delight, so Naomi Slade reveals plans to ensure hers is really putting on a show

Wet weather last winter may have put paid to some plants but in my garden there is one bunch of flowers that has been positively thriving. Asters – or Michaelmas daisies - like rich, deep moist soil and they have been thrilled to bits with the additional damp, bursting usefully into flower at the back of the border just as the plants around them begin to fade.

My plan for this autumn is to increase both the number and variety of asters in my garden. The main player so far is a pale purple one that was here when I arrived. I fear it is most dreadfully common but, for shoulder-high interest and autumn flower arranging, both the flowers and the seedheads are worth their weight in gold.

For design purposes, asters come in a harmonious pallet of pink, purple and white which makes choosing easy. To my delicate purple workhorse, I have added Aster novi-belgii ‘Jenny’ a much shorter plant at just over 30cm high, but in a cheerful, lipstick-pink hue. And having set out to find tallish plants with a good strong colour and stonking performance, I have some new acquisitions from mail-order nursery Hayloft Plants to play with; including icing-pink A. novi-belgii ‘Patricia Ballard’ and ‘Red Robin’, which is a hot pink with a striking yellow centre. These will go together with mauve double ‘Marie Ballard’ and ‘Blauglut’ whose wide single blooms are more lavender than lilac.

If your own borders are already packed to bursting and you want to admire someone else’s, then the display at Waterperry garden near Oxford never fails to impress. And if you find yourself heading up the M40, try and make time to drop in to see Brian Ellis at Avondale Nursery near Coventry. Not only does he have a national collection of Asters, arranged for optimum admiration in the Library Garden, he also has many other delightful herbaceous perennials and a bit of a thing for Sanguisorba and Anemone Nemorosa too.

But back to Michaelmas daisies. They may be big, they may be small, the colours may be hotter or cooler; but in the same way that you can’t clash reds, you can’t clash a collection of asters, no matter which or how many you choose. So, with luck, the borders will soon ignite with cheerful yet sophisticated autumn colour. I have planted my plants and I’m waiting.


Read on

Behind the scenes at Chelsea Flower Show


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

If you’re heading to one of the UK’s many festivals this summer, the chances are you’ll be having a sneaky peak in local estate agents’ windows to see how much it would cost to live there all year round.

Read more
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Wokingham furniture designer recalls the moment he decided to tell his wife – and mother of their two young children – that his commuting days were coming to an end

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

Sue Broughton is looking forward to her second spring as the Head Gardener at Englefield Gardens, which are open to visitors every Monday and are available for weddings and corporate events. She tells Fran McElhone what it takes to maintain the 400-year-old garden

Read more
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Five A Day project provides a welcome boost for healthy eating and those who lovingly grow the produce and flowers

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Add colour to your garden now with the top flowers of March and this season will be all the brighter

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Houseplants are a hot interior trend at the moment and can completely transform a room - but they have their downsides! Gardener and broadcaster Toby Buckland delivers his expert advice

Read more
Monday, November 13, 2017

The story of an extraordinary chair which relies on the ingenuity and skills of people across our counties, Sue Bromley discovers

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Berkshire Life weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Property Search