One plant, three ways Team asters with ac­taea, gyp­sophila or se­dums for a range of at­mo­spheric ef­fects

Team these dainty au­tumn daisies with se­dums, gyp­sophila or ac­taea for a range of pretty part­ner­ships, says Melissa Mab­bitt

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

Smauve, oft, sparkling asters, with their tiny, of­ten slightly shaggy daisy flow­ers, bil­low out of bor­ders in clouds of rich blue and ma­genta this month. They’re in­valu­able for in­tro­duc­ing colour and tex­ture to the au­tumn gar­den, but need care­ful po­si­tion­ing; the mass of small flow­ers can blend into a neb­u­lous lump in iso­la­tion, but give them the right part­ner plants and their del­i­cate airi­ness will shine. Play­ing with contrasting forms cre­ates a look that’s pretty and dis­tinc­tive. Min­gled with the chunky flat cush­ions of se­dum (hy­lotele­phium) or el­e­gant starry spires of ac­taea, the daisy-shaped aster stands out in con­trast. Teamed with buoy­ant white baby’s breath (gyp­sophila), the asters’ moody blue hues morph from misty to al­most metal­lic. It’s also wise to con­sider your plants’ grow­ing con­di­tions. Asters like free-drain­ing soil but strug­gle with mildew if they get too dry, so en­rich your soil with or­ganic mat­ter to help re­tain mois­ture. Se­dums mean­while will cope with slightly drier soil and are use­ful part­ners for these au­tumn al­ls­tars. Asters vary in height from dainty knee­high daisies to bil­low­ing plumes that tower over­head, so choose plant­ing part­ners that reach the right height. Push hazel sticks into the ground around the clump to cre­ate nat­u­ral­is­tic sup­port for taller cul­ti­vars, or use a me­tal grow­ing ring, which the stems will soon hide. It’s also worth grow­ing shorter, leafier plants in front of an aster to hide its lower leaves, which can be­come shabby. Aim for your part­ner plant to grow up and through the aster flow­ers, plant­ing at least three of each in a stag­gered group so their forms mix and min­gle with one an­other.

Give asters the right part­ner plants and their del­i­cate airi­ness will shine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.