Friday, 16 October 2009
An Autumn Garden
"With daffodils mad footnotes for the spring,
And asters purple asterisks for autumn"
~ Conrad Aiken, 1889 - 1973.
A couple of days after the Malvern Autumn Show we visited a jewel of an autumn garden. We have visited this garden before but I could go back again and again. It is the The Picton Garden in Colwall near Malvern and it is home to a National Plant Collection. The plants in question are asters also known as Michaelmas Daisies. Obviously asters are very much the stars of this garden with more than 400 varieties but there are also many other late flowering perennials as well as shrubs and trees. After paying a modest entry fee of £2.50, visitors are handed a leaflet with a map and a planting plan of the individual garden areas. All the asters are labeled individually. Before leaving visitors have the opportunity to purchase plants at from the adjacent nursery which also supplies plants by mail order in spring. Here are few glimpses of the visual show that awaited us ~
Nurseryman Paul Picton has written a book ''The Gardener's Guide To Growing Asters" . I have not read this title but other books in the series are well written with plant information, ideas for planting combinations, advice on care and propagation plus excellent photographic illustrations.
I took the final photo at the allotment a week or so before visiting the Picton Garden. This aster is aster 'Little Carlow' and the butterfly is a comma. It is still flowering now and earlier this week a huge bee was having great fun tiptoeing over its flower heads gathering nectar.