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.