Why I Love Autumn…

October is progressing, so it is time for an update from my autumnal garden. I really love this time of year, not just for the cooler temperatures and the special light or October sunshine. But the morning mists, the slower pace, the grasses, the asters, and a kind of ‘end-of-season’ feeling of satisfaction.

Apart from some slightly stunted growth (especially the Miscanthus), the grasses and asters seemed practically unaffected by the hot dry summer.

In the Oval Bed the rich purply pink Aster ‘September Ruby’ stands at about 1.8m tall. It has been the highlight for a few weeks now, along with the Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’, which is the only Miscanthus I have that has reached its full height and has flowered well. I love it!

Aster ageratoides ‘Ezo Murasaki’ is a small bluish purple one, about 60cm tall, spreading into a nice clump now….

Other asters have been planted in the Oval Bed but need a year or two to settle in, such as this pretty pale pink one called ‘Rosa Sieger’.

Moving across to the Butterfly Bed, this much pinker one is Aster novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Poetschke’.

Pink is an understatement for this flower! It is lively, vibrant, luminous – a great one to have if you only have space for one or two asters, or as a focal point as it really stands out.

(By the way, Poetschke is one of the oldest gardening companies in Germany and this aster was named after the grandmother of Werner Poetschke who ran the family business until the 1980s.)

In the Butterfly Bed the mice/voles had fun reorganizing everything last winter, so bits of asters planted there have moved and labels have been lost! The only one I can name for sure is the Aster pringlei ‘Pink Star’, seedlings of which have been put in the Oval Bed as well. 😀 Here it is pictured alongside a blue Geranium and the Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’, which is just beginning to open.

These are also flowering in the Butterfly Bed…


Now onto the Moon Bed, which focuses on blue and white flowers.

I had Aster ‘Mönch’ flowering here. for weeks, but it is finally going over. The current blue in this bed is the very tall Aster ‘Barr’s Blue’… not a true blue, but lovely nonetheless…

The Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ is still a great backdrop.

The white asters in flower here right now are creating a stir… I would never have thought that white could be such a lovely ‘colour’, but at this time of year it brings light to the fading flower beds and stands out so well against the blue skies we have had recently.

This is Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’ above, and below the slightly shorter Aster ageratoides ‘Ashvi’.

The other white aster I have is on the corner of the Sunshine Bed, which is extremely dry and exposed to sun and wind.

Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’ has tiny flowers, but major impact. It looks as good as ever, especially from a distance, like a little cloud in front of the yellow Chrysopsis.

Finally, The ‘Edge. This bore the brunt of the hot winds we had in July and August, and although the Miscanthus suffered, most of the other plants bounced back in September.

The Calamagrostis took it in their stride and the Stipa gigantea has remained standing all this time and is still very present.

I have got my final planting done, and bulbs in pots and in the ground, so I finally had time to sit on my lovely lounger last weekend and dream about the perfect gardening year we will have next year… plenty of rain, but lots of sunshine too. No wind. No heatwaves. No thunderstorms or hail and lots of butterflies and bees! 😉

Do you grow asters? Which have flowered well for you?

I hope you are enjoying your October gardens too.

Happy gardening!






38 thoughts on “Why I Love Autumn…

  1. No, asters are uncommon here, and have not performed well for us when we happened to try them. The color was exquisite though, both rich purplish pink and rich blue. Wild aster is not much to look at, since it is more of a chaparral species. Aster ericoides sounds familiar, but I can not remember whey.

  2. Oh bother, now they are Symphyotrichum, with only a few species in America left as Aster. Well, that almost makes them a bit less familiar. I should have remembered that, since it is the name used for the species that are native here.

    • I have to admit that I don’t take much notice of the name changes! My online nursery uses the old names with the new ones in brackets, so until they start changing their labels I will stick to the familiar names. I hadn’t realised until recently just how many different ones there are, and many like the conditions here too. 😃

  3. Still a lot of lovely pops of colour in your garden, Cathy. I do have some Asters ( no ID) but our autumn is usually (when we’re not having La Niña ) quite hot, and I find the asters don’t do well at all. I usually end up pulling them out, but they pop up again, as they are doing just now. Yours have the most beautiful vibrant colours. Except the white one, but it has its own beauty.

  4. I adore the red and lilac colours in your garden that feature predominately, Cathy. There’s a lot to be said for the “colourlessness” of white flowers for contrast also, and I always enjoy seeing the various grass plants you grow.
    My garden is evolving well this year. I really must take some photos to share – when we have a fine day, that is. The drizzle is constant, and heavier today, although not flood-threatening.

      • The rain has definitely improved growth in the garden; unfortunately, the weeds are thriving too! In the sub-tropics, typically winter is the dry season. The La Niña effect has caused havoc with our usual rainfall though, which has far exceeded what we expect. So given you can’t control the weather, on days when the rainfall is light, I go out and get into my gardening regardless. 🙂

    • Thanks Amelia. I am grateful for the sunny days we have been having, so I can finally relax a bit and make the most of it all before the dreaded winter damp and fog engulfs us!

  5. My goodness, you have got a lot of asters, although that first one reminds me why I am not overenthusiatic about including them here -1.8mm tall? Too tall for me… perhaps I feel threatened by the height…? 🤣 Seriously (although I was serious), I have a tried a few asters without success although do now have a new ‘Little Carlow’ in bloom, which is looking happy and which I think I will cope with it 😉 I enjoyed looking at the bigger picture again today and pleased to see how The Edge is doing, as I think it is such a great concept when you have all the space that you do.

    • Thanks Cathy. I do have a lot of tall plants, but they are not quite as tall as usual this year! The Miscanthus is perhaps the tallest, if you don’t count buddleia. I am hoping for a ‘normal’ summer next year so The ‘Edge can get more established… the shrubs didn’t grow much at all this year and most of the sunflowers shrivelled up!

  6. Love reading your posts Cathy! You have a lovely variety of plants; I especially love your beautiful Asters!

  7. You have a beautiful fall garden, Cathy! The combination of grasses and asters is so lovely. It was interesting to learn who Alma P was, I’ve often wondered. 🙂 I must look into A. ageratoides, I don’t recall ever seeing it. I have lots of wild asters that bloom throughout our land, but only cultivate NE asters in what I call my spring/fall bed. They’ve crossed and self-sowed in various pink and purple variations, which is fine with me. I like the wild look and the bees can’t get enough of them.
    I like your dream of next year’s garden season… may it be so!

    • Thanks Eliza. Aster ageratoides is known as a ‘wild aster’ here, but comes from the East of Europe/Asia originally. I did have another of this sort called ‘Asran’ too… it is probably still there, but I don’t take the time to try and identify them all now! 😉 They are extremely tough and hardy little plants!

  8. I like autumn too Cathy when it is usually much more comfortable to do jobs in the garden, with no hay fever symptoms and with fewer biting creature out there 😂 Give me a calm sunny September or October day and I’m in heaven. Unfortunately today has been one of those dark and very wet ones with many leaves descending. I have ‘Little Carlow’, have grown and lost ‘Monch’ and have a little white flowering wood aster (can’t recall name at the moment). I would like more especially purple ones although I could be seriously tempted by your ‘September Ruby’. I chuckled at your last photo. You both deserve to put your feet up after all the hard work you’ve done!

    • 😉 The days for sitting outside are numbered now, so we are making the most of it! I grew Little Carlow in my old garden and loved it. I find the shorter ones fit into small spaces and don’t mind being shaded out too much until just before they flower.

  9. I am enjoying fall as well. Your garden is coming along so nicely and I enjoyed seeing all the asters. They look great with the grasses, there are numerous native asters here including a climbing vine. I don’t have any, so far! Happy Fall!

      • The natives are difficult to obtain as plants. I am not really sure my soil holds enough moisture to sustain them as well. I have been growing things from seed and then watching them fry in August…

        • I suppose garden centres in Florida are quite different from ours… am I right in thinking gardening is not a common pastime in your part of the world? We have a wide choice of plants from online nurserieshere in soithern Germany, and my local garden centre is very well-managed by a team of plant enthusiasts, but as soon as you go into a larger town the garden centres are purely commercial and sell what’s ‘in’ right now and a lot of sick plants. Still, things are improving as more people are feeling the need to grow something. 😀

  10. Funny you should mention Alma as the one aster to have if you can only have one or two. There were more asters here at one time, but she’s the only one which I’ve kept… well no, that’s not true but of the novae-angliae forms she’s the only one left!
    I love the garden you are creating, it’s so airy and light and perfect for the autumn light and breezes and it also complements the longer views. I would spend far too much time sitting and enjoying but at least you’ve earned it. Enjoy!

    • Thanks Frank. It was actually too hot to sit in the garden this summer and we sat behind the barn which faces the opposite side of the house…. I can relax better there too without constantly wanting to deadhead something or inspect a plant for aphids etc etc! I am trying to catch some sunny hours on that lounger though now, before it has to be tidied away for winter! 😉

  11. Our yards look pretty with the same colors still bursting with defiance to our recent frosts and brief freezes here in NH. I even have some Petunias, Butterfly Bushes and even Cosmos joining in with large flowering beauties it must be the 1–3-inch rainfalls we have had recently giving them a last push of beauty. I leave all my gardens and leaves be until a week of the 50’s in spring for my birds, bees and bugs so feet up like you two happens here a lot right now 🙂

    • 😃 I am doing one last round of trimming and weeding before winter, as it has been so mild here that so much is still flowering! Enjoying this warm weather so late in the season.

  12. Your gardens continue to show beauty this time of year, whereas I think mine looks a little distressed. Maybe a lot distressed. 🙂 I am so pleased to read your post, however, Cathy, not just to celebrate the beauty you share, but you do encourage me to perhaps take another look at mine, and maybe see with my eyes a bit less critical. 🙂

    • I was unhappy with my garden in the summer… it looked very distressed too, and brown and dying. But it came back to life after the rain in September and I am so grateful for planning lots of late colour! So maybe your garden just needs some cooler temperatures too, and will bounce back soon. Hope so Debra! 🤗

  13. Your garden is certainly looking beautiful this autumn. I must admit that mine is looking pretty good after a disastrous summer and I haven’t touched it for many many weeks. Which leads me to the conclusion that I do more harm than good in my garden !!! Yes I do have asters and many are the same as yours (Monch, Alma Potchke, Ezo Murosaki …) I love Ezo because it’s always in good health and doesn’t flop unlike many others. How does your deschampsia react to drought ? Do you ever have to water it ? It’s a grass that I don’t have and I’m tempted to include it but only on my conditions i.e. no watering 😉

    • Hi Judith. Yes, I sometimes think the same about my garden… it has its ups and downs with or without me intervening! LOL! Yes, Ezo is lovely because it doesn’t really start growing until the heat is over and doesn’t suffer scorched stems like the New England asters do. I didn’t water the Deschampsia at all and it looked wonderful for months! (And you know it was so dry for months too.) But it is now disintegrating and falling apart, so there will be nothing left of it soon. It is a nice fuzzy background for a summer plant which needs highlighting, and it looks very nice when the sunlight shines through it too, like Stipa. 😃 I have to admit I was not keen on it at first, simply because it made such a statement and grew so rapidly, but when my Eryngium flowered in front of it I appreciated it a whole lot more!

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