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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Asters Everywhere!

I have not done a lot of gardening since our March move, but the pollinator bed in the front lawn strip is getting off to a good start despite my neglect. Of course, asters are pretty much indestructible, which is why I love them so. Most of the year, they look pretty pathetic, scraggly foliage straggling along a stem that gets woody and frequently lists to one side or another, but then they start to bud,

and when they bloom--oh my. So much color, and so much life! For anyone not in the habit of observing such things, asters are major fall pollinator food, and the seeds eventually feed the small songbirds who hang around for our Mid-Ohio Valley winters.

I have a bad habit of forgetting which aster I have planted where, so I am never quite sure which plant will show up. When I moved plants this spring, I had hoped that I got a start of "Purple Dome," but no such luck. I did, however, manage to transplant not one but two specimens of "Wild Romance," enabling me to continue using the line, "Wild Romance is blooming." Even if one is not inclined to make silly statements, who could resist that color?


A joy of the lawn strip (which I have not been able to photograph due to inclement weather every time I think of going outside with a camera) is its plethora of asters, even though I deliberately did not plant aromatic aster due to its seriously thuggish propensities. In addition to my ridiculously-named "Wild Romance," the bed contains plain old New England aster, the misty purple so much a part of autumn and such a magnet for pollinators, 

 along with one of the excessively enthusiastic white asters that I can never identify (and surely did not bring along deliberately) and a surprise: a tall pale pink beauty never seen before in my yard. Even better, the boxwood hedge has yielded several specimens of a large-leaved aster in a lovely pale blue. That one does not yet have a definite ID, but a specimen has been rescued to the lawn strip bed, while the others will go to the college's pollinator habitat. Even I recognize that one cannot leave three-foot daisies poking up through what is supposed to be a well-behaved evergreen hedge. (However, the butterflies and bees would rather have the daisies. Just saying....)

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