Atmospheric Flowers: Blue Asters

Masses of small blue, daisy-like flowers

Some plants don’t just add colour, mass and form to a border, they add atmosphere, nostalgia even. Take old-fashioned blue asters, for instance. Individually, the small, daisy-like flowers are on the raggedy side but their profusion packs a punch. If you can look at this picture without imagining a hum of pollinators foraging the flowers for nectar and pollen, you’re not getting out enough.

When I was a child, I used to know places nearby where asters like these grew wild. In those days, my eye didn’t appraise a plant for mildew or an ample coverage of foliage: I took pleasure in the blue daisies and assumed the grown ups (or Mother Nature) would take care of the rest. I poked a few stems through buttonholes to decorate my cardigan and called them Michaelmas daisies without understanding anything of the long history wrapped up in the name.  Continue reading “Atmospheric Flowers: Blue Asters”

River of Echinaceas at Bressingham

Echinaceas, asters, crocosmia and grasses

The display gardens at Bressingham inspire gardeners by showing how some of the company’s most popular plants can be grown in a rhythmic style of planting. Here, foliage plants, grasses, crocosmia, aster and eupatorium make lovely companions for pink echinaceas.