Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

GBBD: Aster novi-belgii 'Waterperry'

Picture of Aster novi-belgii 'Waterperry'

Asters are the final plant to come to my garden and my terrace bed revamp this year. I was put off them as a child because the Michaelmas daisies we had (as they were often called then) were those sorry, leggy and mildew ridden specimens so often seen in 1960s gardens.

My picture shows a very different aster called A. 'Waterperry'. I bought it as a souvenir of a wonderful visit to the garden last September, where this particular cultivar was discovered. The garden's famous long border contained many asters, all very healthy with not one jot of mildew to be seen. They made me revise my thinking on their garden worthiness.

It also gave me the nub of an idea for my revamp of the garden this year. Most of the plants I've chosen are gifts from friends or have strong associations with them or places I've visited. I now have two terrace beds full of memories and good times as well as marvellous plants.

Photo of Aster novi-belgii 'Waterperry' draped over a garden wall
For some reason I planted this particular aster at the back of the lower terrace bed, thinking it was one of the taller ones. I've just checked the label which says it grows to just 40cms tall.

It seems however that my instinct was right in placing it at the back, because it's far taller than it should be*. The flowers are using the back wall as a kind of shelf, where they've arranged themselves most prettily.

The picture to the left gives you more of an idea of what they've done. It means the flowers look like they're forming the front of the top terrace bed rather than the back of the lower one.

Have any of your plants performed in an unexpected way this year?

* = Looking at Waterperry's picture, I'm wondering whether I have the right plant. Website picture colours can vary widely though...

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Update 20/10: there was an @oldhorts visit to Westonbirt Arboretum at the weekend and Pat Havers - Waterperry's Head Gardener - was there. Today she's kindly confirmed I do indeed have Aster 'Waterperry'. Theirs has grown much taller this year too and thinking about it, so have plenty of other plants in my garden this year.

Update October 2015: the name has changed to Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Waterperry'. My plants are much shorter this year.

16 comments:

  1. It's looking really pretty. It's so nice to have something that comes into its own at this time of year. I put a fig in against a fence a few months ago. It had been sulking in a pot for a long time, hardly growing at all. As soon as its roots touched actual soil it shot up like a rocket. I have a feeling it has fooled me into releasing it, I know you're always supposed to box figs in a bit. Hopefully the small amount of rubbly soil will do that well enough.

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  2. Thanks CJ. I have a fig too which sulked for many years until last year when I was rewarded with a crop of 2 figs. This year I've had dozens and this year and last it too has shot up like a rocket just as yours has done. I think it's down to the 2 reasonable summers we've had. Rubbly soil sounds good, though I've made extra sure with mine and it's growing in a pot - there wasn't enough soil depth next to the garage for me to plant and box it in properly. I have a sneaky suspicion a tap root may have crept out of the pot into the rubble below.

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  3. Very pretty!
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea

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  4. That is a lovely Aster, such a pretty colour. I too have started to plant wasters for late season colours, they certainly extend the flowering season.

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  5. I like Michaelmas daisies and have three on the plot that all do well. Flighty xx

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    1. Ooh, I don't remember seeing those Flighty - I must take a closer look at your blog! xx

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  6. Love this aster...vibrant and full of blooms all over....Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks Donna - it's good to still have plenty of colour this year :)

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  7. Snap!

    Not sure which one mine is though as it was in the new garden when we moved here.

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  8. This is a lovely aster! I like the way it spills over into the other area of your terraced garden; if you hadn't explained it, I would have thought it was planted at the front of this area. Most of my asters are the leggy kind, but I always chop them off in summer, and they usually do much better that way. But we also have some asters at the Nursing Home Garden where I volunteer, and several of them looked so bad this summer--brown "legs"--that we pulled them out. It's nice to have these late blooms, though.

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    1. Thanks Rose - I must remember to try chopping mine back to see what happens *looks up Chelsea chop to see if asters are included*

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  9. Ha! Every plant I plant seems to do something different than what I expect. Plants are sill that way. I think the color on your aster is grand. Here, I have lots of asters. They hogged almost an entire post the other day I love them so much. I remember the same mildewy ones when I was little too. However, none of my native asters or the non-asters as we like to call them since the botanical name change, sport mildew. A good thing. Loved seeing yours. Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

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    1. Hi Dee, I've just been having a conversation with the Head Gardener at Waterperry on exactly this topic! She said that they've had lots of plants grow much taller this year (as have I - especially my Salvia 'Amistad' and the Echinops). She's also confirmed that it is Aster 'Waterperry' :)

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