Thursday, 30 March 2017

AUTUMN ASTERS

Easter (or Michaelmas) daisies (Aster novi-belgii) were once popular in gardens, but are less frequently seen now, (although we grow lots in our garden!). They are herbaceous perennials with upright, much-branched stems on which masses of small daisies are produced in late summer and autumn. The flowers range in colour from white through pale lilac blue, mauve, purple and pink to deep reddish plum. Single and double varieties are grown. They can be planted in mixed borders and can also be used effectively in beds on their own. The taller varieties often need staking, and are best planted at the back of garden beds.

A. novi-belgii was introduced from North America into Britain in 1710. In America they were called New York daisies, however, in England these plants bloomed at the same time as St Michael's Day is celebrated (September 29th), and so they became associated with the festival of Michaelmas and were given its name. In the Southern hemisphere where Easter is an Autumnal feast, the daisies bloom at about this time and hence the term "Easter Daisies".

These daisies are easy to grow. Plant them in full sun in a rich, moisture-retentive soil. When they die down in winter cut the dead stems back to ground level. When the new shoots appear in spring, apply a mulch of well-rotted manure or compost to which fertiliser has been added. Lift and divide the clumps every second or third year in winter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

4 comments:

  1. Hello, they are a beautiful color. Lovely photo. Enjoy your day!

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  2. Those flowers make a fine color photo. Who ever planted the variety of colors together did an excellent job.

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  3. I love them in autumn. In our garden we have some different colours of these "daisies". In German we call them Astern. But now it's spring here and I love all our spring flowers much more ;-)
    Elke

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