The Daily DuBrule
Do you have anything blooming in your garden this week? I have an aster that is just beginning to flower. Aster 'Fanny' is a variety I discovered many years ago. I has soft blue flowers and doesn't begin to bloom until late October, usually early November. I have it in a really shady spot under a pear tree and it is doing just fine. I never water it and simply give it a hard pinch in June. It has spread beautifully where other perennial have faded away.
This plant is a workhorse. You don't want to place it where you don't want it because I assure you it will live and spread to form a clump at least two feet across in a few years. It also is GREEN for the entire growing season so you have to wait for the color forever. When designing a garden, this is important to know. Late bloomers, as precious as they are right now, can drive you crazy the rest of the year with their greenness. What I do is simply divide it every three or four years and move chunks around to new spots where the garden is completely devoid of color right now. Those spots are easy to find, aren't they? Yes, it will also grow in full sun but will probably bloom a couple of weeks earlier.
I am determined to keep this variety going. Not a single one of my growers produces this plant any more. I have large patches both at home and at Natureworks to keep as stock plants. I love to marry this plant with 'Lucie's Pink' mums for a simply beautiful late season surprise.
Who was Fanny? Rumor has it she was the maid of the person that introduced this plant to the trade. It's an easy variety name to remember and a wonderful plant to grow in your garden.