|Asters flanking dwarf fountain grasses|
My favorite fall aster is Aster oblongifolius 'Raydon's Favorite'. It has the most beautiful blue-purple daisy-like flowers that start blooming in early October and continue for many weeks.
I have two patches of 'Raydon's Favorite' planted in my garden. The original collection edges the perennial garden adjacent to the pool. Since I spend little time by the pool in the fall, I added another grouping of these beauties in the garden across from the front door.
'Raydon's Favorite' will grow to about 36 inches left alone. However, I prune twice during the summer to get shorter, bushier plants that don't need staking. I prune the plants by 1/2 at the end of May and then again by 1/3 at the end of June. Don't prune past July 4th or you may not get blooms that year.
|Blooming across from the front door|
|A simple arrangement|
With all the rain here lately, I brought a few sprigs of 'Raydon's Favorite' indoors to admire. I mixed them with a few stems of River oat grass (Chasmanthium latifolium) and Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Little Henry') in a small Victorian vase. A simple autumn arrangement.
Asters get their name from an ancient Greek work that means stars. Very fitting, not only for their star-shaped flowers, but also for their starring role in my autumn garden.