ASTER Mountain Aster

The Asters are well represented in the garden by the Michaelmas Daisies which grace most herbaceous borders, but there is one dwarf species which belongs in the rockery. It is a spreading plant with greyish leaves, and in summer the flowers are large and colourful. If you don’t mind having a mixture of flower colours, you can raise this plant from seed – for a single colour you should buy a named variety from your garden centre or nurseryman.

VARIETIES: Specialist nurseries supply such miniature Asters as A. natalensis and A. tibeticus, but the only one you are likely to find at the garden centre is A. alpinus. Its basicdetails are height 9 in., spread 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: July. The flowers measure about 1.5 in. across, with pale purple ray petals surrounding the golden eye. Varieties in other colours are available – ‘Glory’ (blue), Albus’ (white) and ‘Wargrave’ (pink).

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained soil and a sunny site. PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in early summer.

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