The Daily DuBrule
I am in love with a wonderful plant named Aster laevis 'Bluebird' or the smooth aster. I have been growing this plant in my home garden, at Natureworks, and in the gardens of my clients and it has proven itself to be a great perennial in every case.
There are a lot of things to love about 'Bluebird'. First of all, the color is gorgeous in the fall. Second, it grows in full sun and pretty much full shade. The leaves are oval, deep green, and smooth compared to New England asters and many others. I give it a hard pinch in June which causes it to branch and it reaches about 18" tall, blooming this week in my neck of the woods and for many weeks to come. Butterflies adore it and any native plant that can lure more migrating butterflies in is a good thing in my book.
I think what I like best about this plant is that, other than a single pinch in June, it is essentially carefree. None of the rust or mildew that plagues other asters. It self sows too. I had one plant, now I have four. You have to look carefully in the spring for the babies as they look like lots of other everyday weeds. But after a while, you get good at it.