Asters grow wild across Europe and North America, harmonise chic gardens or delicately balance contemporary vases for corporate florists!
In fact, if it’s September, you’re bound to find the Aster/Michaelmas Daisy/September Flower (call it what you will) not terribly far away!
The name ‘Aster’ derives from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (aster) which means Star, referring to the multi-petal shape of the flowers. Although in the Christian world, an Aster is also called the Michaelmas daisy as it flowers on and around the feast day of St Michael on 29th September. The September Flower is, not unsurprisingly, the Birth Flower for September and symbolises love, faith, wisdom and colour – something all of us could use a little bit more of, I believe.
The multi-talented Aster is found quietly growing in the wild as well as discretely in the garden border, in conditions from full sun to partial shade and will tolerate most types of soil as long as they are free draining and not boggy as they do have a tendency towards mildew. Their size can vary from 6 inches to 6 feet and they come in a multitude of colours from pink, red, white, lilac to mauve, but always with a bright yellow or golden, button centre. They look wonderful planted in large swathes with other tall, equally less ‘cultivated’ types of flowers and grasses and will add a fabulous crescendo to the end of the summer border.
Asters will flower for weeks, from July well into October giving butterflies and bees much needed sustenance for the coming winter months and by leaving the top growth on throughout the winter months, the old flower heads will then provide food for birds and shelter and insects too. But as well as being pretty blooming useful in the garden the Aster is a firm favourite with corporate florists at this time of year, with their strong stems and bright colours and longevity they make an excellent foil for showing off other more extrovert flowers such as Gerberas, Hydrangeas and roses.
In this month of September, as part of our corporate florist service we will be using Asters in our weekly flower service and fresh flower displays to supply our clients with colourful, autumnal, seasonal flowers which will, hopefully, spread some of that ‘love, faith, wisdom and colour’ to all.