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Asters – image (c) Cheryl Shanahan

You’re getting a glimpse of a little bit of what’s being installed in the front yard.

Someone….not sure if it was the guy who owned the house prior to me, or if it was the guy prior to HIM….at any rate, SOMEONE planted ligustrum (privet) as a foundation plant. Well, let me tell you: after it got away from me and branches bolted up to the second story on more than a couple of occasions, I knew it had to go. Last fall, I got to the “I told you so” point, and I had all seven of them ceremoniously chopped down and the stumps ground. It was cathartic.

The front of our home has a western exposure, and the facade of the house gets blasted by the sun all afternoon. In coming up with a landscape design, I had to take that into account when it came to plant selection.

I’ve been using one of the beds in the backyard as a test bed, since it gets direct sun all day long.  I figure if plants survive out there on my neglect (because if you think I’m going out there when it’s hotter than the fire of a thousand suns, you’re dead wrong. I might not even set foot out there from June to August), then they stand a chance of making it in the new beds in the front yard.

These guys made the cut because they love full sun, they adapt to a variety of soil conditions, they attract butterflies and they add some great color to the fall garden.

What asters like

  • full sun
  • well-drained soil
  • to be divided every couple of years
  • to have some compost and a bit of mulch layered around them in the spring