|Symphyotrichum novi-belgii in the Picton Garden - a reminder of the wonderful diversity of Michaelmas daisies.|
This afternoon, in glorious weather (the hottest October day recorded in England), we visited Old Court Nurseries in Colwall, near Malvern, which has been associated with the selection and promotion of Michaelmas daisies for over a century. Started by Ernest Ballard in 1906 it has been run since the 1950s by the Picton family, now on their third generation. The history of the nursery, and full online catalogue is available from their website.
Although one visits the nursery, it's really the adjacent Picton garden one goes to see - a small entry fee is payable - where there is a magnificent display of daisies, arranged largely by type, but there's also an interesting assortment of woody plants and shade-tolerant species including some good ferns. The nursery majors on Michaelmas daisies, but has a few 'supporting cast' in the form of Aconitum, Rudbeckia etc.
|The Picton Garden is adjacent to the nursery - a view over the S. novi-belgii display, just at its peak.|
|Aster amellus 'Gründer'; this European species remains in Aster. |
I had not seen this cultivar before - it's superb, with strong stiff stems. Unfortunately the stock was all sold out.
|Another true Aster: A. trinervius var. ageratoides 'Starshine' - a good, short plant.|
|Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Melbourne Magnet'.|
|Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Colwall Galaxy' - a fine selection from Old Court Nurseries.|
|S. novi-belgii (or is it a hybrid) 'Beechwood Charm', with small, single, intensely pink flowers: a pot of this accompanied us home. It will be planted next to Aconitum 'Royal Flush' next year.|