The asters have won my heart for the sheer exuberant volume of blossoms they produce, for being hearty and beautiful in a kind of workaday way, for blooming so late in the season when the garden is a mess and I’ve lost my gumption for it until next spring. We might all pursue our vocations with such earnest cheer.
Our garden has never had much fall interest so this year I’m excited about the new asters in the native plant garden. So excited, in fact, that I couldn’t wait for them to open entirely before photographing them several days in a row. There is something magical about emergence, being poised on the brink of discovery but with so much left unknown.
You can tell the native plants BELONG here because of the way they thrive.
We chose the wild senna for the cool shape of the leaves. We had no idea that it would grow taller than me the first season (I’m 5’3 so it’s not a huge feat, but still).
If you live in the Twin Cities, please let me know if you’d like one of these giants for your own garden. I’ve got babies all over the place and I’m happy to share. Be ready for a soundtrack of contented buzzing – the pollinators are coming in droves.
Every time I see one of these huge puff balls, it brings me back to my 70’s childhood. We used to have to stop the car so my mom and grandma could climb into the ditch to pick them. Back home, they were given the AquaNet treatment and put on display.
This gorgeous blossom is undergoing a rebranding effort in the name of monarch survival. Commonly referred to as Swamp Milkweed, the plant is one of the essential natives for monarch caterpillars. In an effort to encourage more gardeners to embrace this beneficial plant, the new moniker lends a more delicate, desirable image. This is no swamp plant: it’s Rose Milkweed (thank you very much).