Saturday, October 10, 2009

Asters in my Garden

Robin Lane Fox, writing in today’s Financial Times, mentioned asters. He stays away from the novi-belgii varieties, he wrote, and instead prefers the novae-angliae forms. That made me think. I have only two Asters in my garden, a Japanese and a Georgia, and it made me curious about their official (Latin) names. Both still had their original tags, stuck in the ground next to them, so I went outside, pulled the tags out and now know that I am growing a Asteromoea mongolica and a Symphyotrichum georgianum. How “mongolica” translates into “Japanese” and how anyone could ever in a snap identify a “Symphyotrichum” as an aster is beyond me, but, needless to say, a serious gardener should know her plants’ Latin names. I’ll have to remember that, if I ever decide to garden for anything more than pure enjoyment.

Oh, and another thing, when I lived in England, I had never heard of asters. But I sure recognized Michaelmas Daisies!

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