Asters and Goldenrods everywhere! I often think that it must be fall when the asters and goldenrods begin blooming. Truthfully, many asters begin blooming in early August and some goldenrods begin blooming before I turn the calendar page to September. They continue to bloom into October, until the frost kills them. There are over 60 species of asters and 40 species of goldenrod that are native to New England.
Asters and goldenrods are beautiful in the landscape. They grow in all kinds of conditions – or at least specific species grow in any kind of habitat that you can find. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. These plants are not just good for “wild” areas and can behave very nicely in a garden setting. My mother plants wood aster along edges of her yard because they “light up” the garden with their white flowers. I love showy goldenrod which offers a beautiful, large, fountain of flowers when it blooms from late August through September and include it in some of my garden spaces. Smooth aster is also a nice plant because it grows so tall – reaching over 6 feet where it is happiest and is loaded with large purple flowers.
Some goldenrod can spread quickly, so use a little caution as you plant these wonderful plants. Rough goldenrod and grass-leaf goldenrod can run through a planted garden covering large areas. I find that most of the asters are better behaved, but showy aster will also tend to spread through an area. Its purple flowers are large and showy, so it makes up for its aggressiveness in the garden. Go out and check out the fabulous variety of asters and goldenrods blooming now in your own yard or your favorite field!