I know, I know, the title is misleading – these aren’t actually asters, although they do look a lot like them. And this photograph didn’t actually come from my garden, but from one of my many nature hikes. I hope you’ll excuse the discrepancies because the weather sucks here lately – meaning, it’s way too cold and wet for me to get my rear in gear and go photograph the garden.
Yup, I’m being lazy!
Be that as it may, I can still enjoy the asters in my garden. They’re volunteers, and I can’t bear to cut them back even though they’re extraordinarily tall and flopping over my walkway. They’re gorgeous and the bees love them – the last burst of color and blooms before the frosts really hit. I can’t go cutting the last bee food down, can I? That would be unbearably cruel. I think some of the bumblebees actually sleep in them, but I would have to go investigate with a flashlight to verify.
They’re not the huge showy asters you can see in florists and occasionally in the wild. They’re gawky puff-ball plants full of white or violet stars. They’ve been blooming for a few weeks now and are still going strong. Even the cold nights we’ve had haven’t bothered them at all, they keep blooming away.
Next year, I’ll try to make a mental note to prune them back during the summer while they’re still growing – a small mum sized bush would be much more manageable than these waving plumes. If I trim them early enough, they won’t have buds yet and I won’t affect next season’s blooms.
You know – none of my neighbors have asters – you usually see them in wild meadows or along the sides of the roads. I wonder if the former owner of the house loved them so much that she planted them in her garden?