This is the month of the Michaelmas Daisy, or Aster or Symphyotrichum or whatever name has been decided upon this year. I mean who is going to remember Symphywhotsit! The feast day of St Michael the Archangel on the 29th September coincides with the peak flowering season of autumn flowering Asters. Which is how they come by their common name, Michaelmas Daisy.
There’s a colour to suit every garden – they come in shades of white, blue, purple and pink and they can flower for weeks beginning late summer and into autumn.
They look great in cottage gardens but also work in more contemporary schemes – they associate well with ornamental grasses. They’re extremely popular with bees and butterflies, too.
Some are compact and clump-forming and suited to the front of a border or a container, others are taller statuesque specimens reaching 2 metres and look best at the back of a border where they can waft over the other plants.
One of the best places to see these plants is in Worcestershire, close to the beautiful Malvern Hills. The Picton Garden is a plantsman’s garden that holds the National Plant Collection of more than 400 varieties of Michaelmas Daisies creating a jewel-like tapestry from mid-September. I published a post about this beautiful garden in 2014 so please click on the link and head over there for a visual treat.