► Asters, of course, are the kings of the sunny massifs. Impossible to name them all, there are so many varieties available to us from nurserymen, not to mention the surprises offered by spontaneous seedlings in our gardens. Until now, my favorite was part of the Aster x frikartii series, but this year, I stopped, in the exhibition garden of the Lepage Bord de mer nursery, on tufts ofAster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’.And it has become my favorite, for its long flowering – from July to October -, and especially for its natural and supple look, almost drooping, which predisposes it to garnish wonderfully pots and jars. Its simple, mauve flowers, with a large golden heart, perched on black stems, touched me with their grace, their simplicity and their abundance. And I’m not the only one to be charmed: butterflies are crazy about it.
→ READ. The essential ground cover perennials
► I like to mix large bidens with my asters, Bidens aurea ‘Hannay’s Lemon drop’. Like them, they love the sun and are not very demanding on the ground. Blooming in summer, they still illuminate the garden with their canary yellow five-petalled flowers with white tips. The heart of gold attracts bees and other pollinators, with their honey scent! They are also appreciable in bouquet, because when the flowers wither, the petals fall and there remains the abundant center.
► Still for the sun, the countless varieties of semi-shrubby sage court bees delighted to find food in this season. And as they bloom into a myriad of florets, pollinators are celebrating. It’s funny to see the big carpenter bee, bluish black, land on a flower that is one tenth of its size. Among the novelties, Salvia microphylla stands out in particular ‘Papajan’, in salmon tone, and above all ‘Aquamarine ‘, celestial blue.
► What if we were talking about fortunei saxifrage ? Here are small plants that are on the rise. So much so that many hybrids are born every year. They measure between 25 and 30 cm in all directions, and are perfect for borders of partial shade and rockery, where they bloom between September and November. With their flowers to contemplate up close and their semi-evergreen foliage, container culture suits them very well, especially since they hate root competition.
► Adopt Tricyrtis. Despite their delicate appearance, they are good perennials, easy to grow.It is in autumn that, refined, they bloom into small flowers that resemble mini-orchids. They have the prettiness and delicacy, but not the fragility. Treasures for shade and partial shade, they grow in erect, solid tufts, 60 cm to 1 m high, and like fertile, acid or neutral, and cool soil. Well established, they withstand short periods of drought.
Right now, every week, in all regions, passionate nurserymen and plant enthusiasts open their garden. Visiting them means discovering their universe, understanding their work while hunting for classic or surprising plants. With the list of your desires and a large basket, do not forget your health pass, and a mask.
⇒ Here is a selection of open days:
♦ October 9 and 10, autumn open house of the Aoba Nursery. Uncommon shade and climbing plants. Aoba La Touche in Burgot, 35460 Saint-Ouen-la-Rouërie www.pepiniere-aoba.com
♦ October 17,Pot garden, to pottery In the sandstone of time, specializing in frost-resistant stoneware. Two perennial nurseries will be present for this open day. Pottery in the sandstone of time, 44, Route de Prétot Lithaire, 50250 Montsenelle www.augrèsdutemps.fr
♦ October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31, The time of saxifrage. Open house at the nursery Under a perched tree.Magnificent collections of saxifrage and hydrangeas. 29650 Guerlesquin www.sousunarbreperché.fr
See you next week: I’ll tell you about the climbers that thrive without fear of the fall rains or the days that get shorter.