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It is possible to have an absolute riot of colour in our gardens throughout May and June and then suddenly to have nothing but green. We all need to think about the blooms that are to come to provide late summer and autumn colour and create a continuously beautiful space to enjoy. Asters, better known as Michaelmas Daisies, are one of the key plants that aid us in our quest for this continuation of colour until the first frosts. But what is special about the Autumn Jewels series of Asters? Below I attempt to explain.

  1. Delightful semi-double, daisy blooms of a good size and in bold colours with yellow centres.
  2. Compact bushy plants that won’t need staking. They reach around 35cm x 30cm (14in x 12in)
  3. Masses of blooms on each plant throughout late summer and into autumn.
  4. Years of breeding make them equally suitable for our containers as well as the middle of our borders.
  5. Perfect for a posy of cut blooms to brighten up the house.
  6. A Mecca for our all important bees and butterflies and other pollinators, making them perfect for wildlife gardens.
  7. Fully hardy and perennial, they will grace our gardens for many years to come.
  8. Low maintenance and easy to grow.
  9. Ideal for full sun to partial shade.
  10. Can be divided every few years to provide new plants. This will also help to maintain the plant’s vigour.

Many of us remember the tall Michaelmas Daisies from our parent’s or grandparent’s gardens, but these are much more advanced breeding. The varieties pictured at the top of the article are:-

Sapphire – Delicate sprays of bright mid blue daisy-like flowers with a bold yellow central disc
Rose Quartz – masses of soft pink flowers with contrasting yellow centres
Purple Diamond – Bright purple-magenta daisy flowers with a golden centre.

Try to provide a position with shelter from midday sun.  Space around 30cm (1ft) apart. Plant in moist but well-drained soil with added compost.  As plants begin to die back in early winter, cut them back to near ground level. Apart from this just sit back and enjoy!

To view a collection of Aster dumosus ‘Autumn Jewels’ at YouGarden click here

Mark Snelling

All images copyright YouGarden

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