raving again about Anne Raver

I love to check in with the New York Times and see what gardening columnist Anne Raver has been up to. Her latest column was all about asters: tall ones, short ones, climbing ones, natives and hybrids.

The taxonomy (naming and classification) of asters is hard for me to keep up with. I’ll just have to re-read her column about 10 times and see if I can figure out the different varieties.

Every garden should have a few asters. But give it some thought. I have the ubiquitous Purple Dome and it is aptly named. It has to be cut back starting in May, again in June, and again in July. This will keep it about thigh high and delays the blooms until mid-September. If not cut back, it would be blooming the end of June and the plants would be the size of Volkswagon bugs. I want my asters to bloom at the end of the season, in September when perennial color is starting to wane from exhaustion. Fifteen hour days and 100 degree temperatures, little water…….it takes a toll, even with the best planning. Anyway, asters give the garden a nice jump start – a last gasp gasp of gaudy floral glory.