Autumnal Asters: A Garden Visit

Today was one of those real autumnal days with the mists hanging in the air until  lunchtime, everything damp and the leaves beginning to take on their autumnal hues.  I have been meaning to visit Old Court Nurseries to buy some more Asters for the Daisy Border and discovered that today was their last open day of the year so instead of struggling with damp soil and wet leaves I popped over the hill to Colwall for a quick visit.

Old Court Nurseries is renown for Asters which are displayed in the Picton Garden adjacent to the nursery. Today the garden was also open for the NGS and the car park was quite full despite the mistiness and cold snap in the air.  I have only visited at the start of the Aster season before so it was particularly interesting to visit at the end for a change.

Whilst the gardens feature Asters there is also an interesting collection of Acers and other shrubs which looked good in the Autumn.  As you can see, despite these photos being taken at 1pm, it still looks quite  fresh and damp due to the mist just clearing.  I did like this combination of the dark Acers with the light leaved shrub in front although I forgot to see what it was called since my focus was on the Asters.

I really noticed this visit the range of flower size as well as flower colour of Asters.  The Asters I bought two years ago have larger flowers like the one in the above photograph.  I  think this grouping shows how good Asters are with Rudbeckias and grasses, a lovely late summer combination.

However, I found myself more attracted to the tinier flowers such as Aster cordifolius  ‘Elegans’ and my favourite Aster at home is the Aster umbellatus, a species variety with tiny white flowers.  They are daintier and less brash,  compared to Echinacea and Rudbeckias you couldn’t really call any Asters loud and I find myself drawn more and more to these quieter and gentler flowers.

But The Picton Gardens isn’t all Asters, although nearly, there is a tropical feel in one area with large bamboos, a huge Tetrapanex papyrifera and more wonderful Acers.

The garden is quite small and consists  of a series of smaller areas linked by paths which twist and turn making the space feel much larger.  It is a real late summer/autumn garden.

So if you are in Worcestershire/Herefordshire next year in late summer/early Autumn I would recommend stopping off at Pictons  and maybe buying some Asters,  a plant which I think we should be planting more of.

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About Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited
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15 Responses to Autumnal Asters: A Garden Visit

  1. Arabella Sock says:

    I like the colours and textures in the first two pictures in particular. Good to see a garden performing so well this late in the year.

  2. Alison says:

    Totally agree about planting asters, great colour this time of year and bees love them

  3. Mark and Gaz says:

    Still looking great indeed at this time of the year!

  4. hillwards says:

    Lovely pictures of beautiful gardens that have been on my must-visit list for a while. I love the mix of acers, asters, rudbeckia and grasses; stunning.

    • patientgardener says:

      Hi Hillwards – you could time a visit with going to the Autumn Show

    • hillwards says:

      Yes, we had both in mind this year, I had done my persuasive work :) but in the end things were too busy and we couldn’t make the trip at all, so it is postponed for another year.

  5. I love asters, my favorites are aster shortii and aster obllongifolius.

  6. Between the Acers, asters and other plants there are lots of colours and textures. The Aster cordifolius is putting on a good show. The flowers may be small, but there are so many of them that it makes an impressive mass. I particularly like the tunnel-like walk through the Acers and bamboo.

    Did you end up buying any asters?

  7. Yvonne Ryan says:

    How lovely and rampant and soft and frothy and a ‘must see’ if ever in England! My opium poppies are just starting to flower – hopefully no ‘druggies’ come and look at property when ‘open homes’! (My daughter is selling so that means we are up for sale as well – as a ‘granny flat’ under the house! I have hundreds of pots which have to go with me as they are my ‘babies’ – oh what a burden it is to be a plant-aholic!!!

  8. Anna says:

    A perfect day for such a visit. Did you return home empty handed?

    • patientgardener says:

      Now Anna you know better than that! I came home with two Asters – Vesta and another one I cant remember the name of

  9. VP says:

    Picton’s on my list to visit. I was hoping to combine it with going to the Malvern Autumn Show, but had to be elsewhere yet again.

  10. Christina says:

    I agree, I think Asters are often under-rated. If you like dainty ones you shold look for A. Monte Casino, it is my favourite of all. Christina

  11. Such pretty autumn combinations in this garden. I adore asters because they are so drought tolerant. Here they require no additional watering which is awesome. Maybe it is the mist in the air but your pictures have a magical quality about them even at 1 pm.

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