A hard day at the coal face.  I’m very tired.  Here is an aster.  And yes I know it is now called bobsyouruncle or jackinthebeanstalk or symphonicorchestra but I can’t quite remember which. So today, and most likely not for the last time, I am calling it an aster.

Perfect Planting


Today I have worked in my own garden.  I know, that must be three times this year.  Do you think I’m over doing it?  I only touched the surface of what needs to be done, but I suppose I made an effort and a few things were crossed off the list.

Let me try to explain my woeful neglect.  The reason might sound a little like that interview question “what is your greatest failing?”, reply “I work too hard”, but please bear with me.  The truth is that I fear going out there because I know that I will held captive for hours.  Just one more weed/repot/cutting/seed sown/prune …… and before you know it the moon is high and the bats are flying.  As I live part-time in the real world, other things are calling to me.  It is just too dangerous to even step foot outside the back door.  Am I forgiven?  Am I believed?

The above photo bears no resemblance to my garden.  It is Knoll Gardens in Dorset.  To me this combination of rudbeckia and aster is pure perfection.   I stood in front of it and sighed.  I needed to be tugged away by my ear to enjoy the further and varied delights of this wonderful oasis.

The GPAP – Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’


This Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’ breaks several of my self-imposed rules of acquisition.  In fact it not only breaks them, it grinds them into the dust with the heel of its steel tipped cowboy boot.  This list (in no particular order and compiled after much soul-searching) includes but is not confined to the following:

I will never ever acquire a plant

  • The name of which I can’t pronounce without inciting extensive sniggering from others, even after prolonged practice on my part.
  • Whose moniker does not fit onto a standard plant label however weeny you write.
  • That has been renamed to the detriment of the sensitive gardener (in the good old days when it was simply “Aster” life was so much easier).
  • That has designs on world domination.
  • That is best friends with powdery mildew.

I can’t even stick to my own rules, there really is no hope.  She is rather pretty though, don’t you think?