|Bee on Aster|
A good late summer performer for the garden is the Aster or Michaelmas Daisy. So called because it has daisy-like flowers from pink, purple to blue and it flowers at the time of Michaelmas, on 29 September when in parts of Europe remember Archangel Michael.
Its reliability and hardiness help to make it a truly family friendly plant. Other characteristics include
- It is can be bought as a perennial, which means it comes back every year.
- The bees like it and it provides late summer nectar for them.
- It is low maintenance.
- It does not succumb to slug and snail damage.
If growing with children you could grow from seed. However for me this plant’s value lies in providing instant late summer colour. There are many other flowering plants that would be easier for them to grow. I would suggest a visit to the garden centre from the end of July onwards to see what varieties are available. You will need to cut back the plant at the end of the season.
A number of common varieties are about 4 feet high, but some of the taller varieties can start to look a bit scraggy towards the end of the season. Worth considering are shorter and dwarf varieties like the one below, no more than 2 feet tall and which will not be such a target for a football .
|Aster lateriflorus ‘Bucks Fizz’|