My soil is too light and dry to grow Asters well and by the autumn  they are usually leafless stems of mildew. Occasionally I come across one that will either tolerate my garden’s soil or that is too beautiful to pass by.   When I first saw this growing in a French garden I was lured by the siren-call of its dark-purple flowers.

It is against all the rules of good gardening to grow something that isn’t suited to the situation but I go weak in the presence of beauty.  A deep mulch that is kept moist during the summer mitigates the inappropriate growing conditions.  It grows to about 1m tall and was bred in France at the appropriately name ‘La Ferme Fleurie’

Aster 'Maria Wolkonsky'

Aster ‘Maria Wolkonsky’