Category: Tropical Style

Fantastic Design Plant: Aster

Fantastic Design Plant: Aster

The lack of flowers blooming in the garden at the autumn may be a real bummer, but since I write this in August, you have got the time to plant a few fall bloomers. Asters arrive in a selection of stunning colours, particularly pinks and purples, and there are more than 600 known species to choose from. Plant these on your present perennial gardens, create a border garden or add them into a wildflower meadow blend to keep your garden blossoming and colorful well into autumn.

The New York Botanical Garden

Botanical name: Aster spp
Shared name: Aster, michaelmas daisy, starwort, frost flowers
USDA zones: 3 to 8 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Though somewhat drought tolerant, asters do best in well-drained soil.
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: Ranges from 4 inches high (dwarf varieties) to 4 feet high
Benefits and tolerances: Asters may be susceptible to a number of issues; choose a disease-resistant selection.
Seasonal interest: Blooms at the autumn
When to plant: Early autumn or after the last frost of winter

The New York Botanical Garden

Distinguishing traits: The aster was named after the Greek word for “celebrity,” because of the blossom’s star-like form. It’s a bright yellow centre that’s composed of tiny flowerets. The flowers range from about 1/2 inch.

Since there are so many distinct species, the size of the plant varies from dwarf to tall. The flowers vary in proportion also and come in colors that include white, white, purple, pink and crimson.

Many aster plants have soft, mounded contours. They attract butterflies.

The New York Botanical Garden

The best way to use aster in the garden: Aster is a versatile plant that works well in all types of gardens, including boundaries, perennial gardens, butterfly gardens and rock gardens. Additionally, it adds beauty to meadows in the autumn. Asters arrive in a selection of colors that mums do not, like blues and purples.

Utilize the plant as part of your three-season planting plan. If you’ve got a perennial garden you’d love to have blossoms in for as long as possible, plant asters through it. For a short lived but spectacular show, plant large borders or swaths with many different asters. This will make September one of your yard’s most memorable months.

The New York Botanical Garden

Planting notes: the moment you see aster plants at the nursery, snatch them up and plant them in late summer or early autumn. This will provide them a good chance to get established before the first frost, which raises their odds of returning the next year. Educate your soil with organic material to make sure it’s rich and loamy. Because sizes may vary, follow the instruction on the label or seed packet regarding spacing. Be extra sure to keep the plants watered during blooming season. Deadhead to keep your plant blooming as long as possible. After the plant dies back as winter approaches, cut it back into the floor.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

That’s intriguing: In medieval Europe, people burnt asters to ward off serpents (it was considered to make them take flight). The mythology continues now, as some think that burning aster leaves will keep snakes away.

See more guides to good design crops

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Fantastic Design Plant: Red-Leafed Mukdenia

Fantastic Design Plant: Red-Leafed Mukdenia

Ground covers fill breaks in a landscape by improving and bridging other focal garden characteristics to make a unified layout. The colorful and flamboyant leaves of Red-Leafed Mukdenia (Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’) will perfectly complement and accentuate your own plantings while infusing a sufficient splash of red into your landscape.

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

Botanical name: Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’
Common names: Red-Leafed Mukdenia
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water requirement: Regular watering
moderate requirement: Afternoon color
Mature size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 3 feet wide
Tolerances: Moist soil, acidic soil, most insects

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

Distinguishing attributes: Mukdenia boasts large and colorful fan-shaped leaves that energetically spread and cascade along the landscape. Leaves emerge in early spring a deep bronzy green, hinting at its seasonal coloring.

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

Creamy white flowers blossom in late winter or early spring soon after leaves emerge. After a few months of blooming, the leaves start their dramatic colorful transition.

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

A vibrant burgundy begins in the tips of Mukdenia’s leaves and quickly spreads to the rest of the foliage, persisting although the growing season.

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

The way to use it Mukdenia makes dramatic announcement as a ground cover in a woodland garden. Its lush, colorful foliage contrasts and illuminates other landscape attributes during the year together with the evolution of its colours signaling the shifting seasons. If using as a ground cover, plant 2-3 feet apart.

Banyon Tree Design Studio

If space or growing conditions prohibit a expansive floor cover, plant Mukdenia in a pot instead. It divided easily, and its own red-tipped leaves and creamy white blossoms enhance any decorative planter, as noticed in this arrangement by Banyon Tree Design Studio.

Planting notes: Original to woodland settings, Mukdenia prefers soil full of organic thing that sustains a certain quantity of constant moisture. Adhere to a weekly watering schedule, at least initially, to establish a solid root system. For example an understory plant, Mukdenia will gladly sustain color, but be cautious that too much may inhibit the reddish color for which it is known. Mukdenia is slow growing, but it is a resilient and easy plant to grow that will awaken any exhausted garden.

Inc, Terra Nova ® Nurseries

More great layout plants:
Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks | Redtwig Dogwood | Toyon

Great layout trees:
Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Western Maple | Manzanita | Persian Ironwood
Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel | Tree Aloe

Great layout blossoms:
Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris | Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw
Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower

Great layout grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

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