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Hardiness Zone Map


Aster

Michaelmas Daisies

We never tire of Aster’s cheerful daisy faces and the profusion of colors and sizes that make up this genus, from 6 ft. giants to tiny dwarf alpines. Our Asters, large and small, are tried and true performers in ordinary garden soil and full sun. Generally late summer bloomers, they provide lots of oomph when many perennials have petered out.

Aster asperulus (P-1307)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE SPRING 2020

<i>Aster asperulus</i>

With a not-too-tall, high-spirited presentation of lavender-blue daisies, this compact, rarely offered Aster should find its way into more gardens.

Sturdy, wine-tinged, open branched stems maintain a pert straight-up stance carrying the big buds and two in. wide, thin rayed flowers. Rising above unusual, large green leaves distinguished by toothed margins, prominent veins and a somewhat fuzzy surface, the long blooming, sunny-eyed blossoms make a vivacious match for the darkly beautiful Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ above our stone wall.

Blooms late July–October.

Size: 15" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Aster ‘Bill’s Big Blue’ (P-0621)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE SPRING 2020

Blooming long after other flowers have faded, Asters are associated with afterthought and cheerfulness in old age. This Ed Carman selection is one of the largest Asters we offer, with clean-looking foliage right to the ground on strong, upright stems culminating in sprays of blue-violet flowers. Bring cheer to the fading days of summer by planting ‘Bill’s Big Blue’ with Helianthus and other stately late bloomers.

Blooms late September–early November

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster</i> ‘Bridal Veil’

Kudos to Dr. Jim Ault at the Chicago Botanic Garden for this recently introduced distinctive A. ‘Snow Flurry’ descendant. Fine textured close-knit branches with small, linear green leaves grow upward, then somewhat horizontally before assuming a unique weeping aspect during the summer, which is heightened by a phenomenal bounty of ½ in. wide pure white flowers. The long-lasting floral train nearly veils the entire plant and lays claim to its name, while ‘Bridal Veil’s stoic habit braves drought, salt spray and mildew.

Blooms mid-September|ndash;early October

Size: 2' 0" high x 4-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Aster ‘Cassie’ (P-1085)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE 2020

<i>Aster</i> ‘Cassie’

Pretty pink 1-½ in. flowers gather in festive clusters as they top sturdy stems clad in toothed linear foliage. Several layers of frilly petals swirl around the bright yellow eyes, delivering spirited color to the front lines of a perennial border, while Gaura ‘Pink Cloud’ and the darkly red Angelica gigas take up the rear.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster</i> ‘Coombe Fishacre’

With a billowy habit, a reliable floriferous nature and fine foliage that looks dapper all season long, ‘Coombe Fishacre’ is one of our favorite Asters. Its deep green leaves cover sweeping branches all the way down, while a slew of lilac flowers warmed by rosy brown centers roost above. Well after the blooms have faded, the seed heads add intriguing colors and shapes.

This first-class Aster never needs staking and can be planted in large drifts amid Miscanthus ‘Nippon’, Molinia ‘Bergfreund’ or Eupatorium ‘Gateway’ for glowing pink echoes.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Aster cordifolius</i>

FTD should get to know this perky, rarely seen Aster, and so should you. Buds form early and fool us into thinking they’re about to bloom, but they wait until the plant reaches full height. When it does, a mass of blue-violet on erect, wiry, wine red stems leaves us breathless. Try planting Teucrium f. ‘Azureum’ in front and Molinia ‘Windspiel’ as a backdrop. When flowering ends, we find the stems and seed heads of Aster cordifolius so delightful, we leave them on for winter interest.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster cordifolius</i> ‘Avondale’

Indigenous to the southern reaches of the Appalachian Mountains, this hearty selection greets fall with a jovial long-lasting barrage of small, yellow-eyed pale lavender-blue daisies atop tidy slender green foliage. Acquiescent to varied light, it exhibits an upright open habit in sunny spots and becomes more relaxed and arching in darker recesses. Ignored by deer, but coveted by butterflies, floral arrangers and gardeners, floriferous ‘Avondale’ endures dry shade once established, favors well-drained soil and can be planted en masse along woodland fringes, meandering amid Geranium ‘White Ness’.

Blooms mid-August|ndash;early October

Size: 20" – 2-1/2' high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

Aster cordifolius ‘Chieftain’ (P-1609)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE SPRING 2020

<i>Aster cordifolius</i> ‘Chieftain’

Lifted on tall strong stems, a starry haze of umpteen, tiny, pale lavender-blue daisies lining branched upright sprays earned this impressive celebrity an AGM award and a place in our garden. Rich green tailored foliage stays fresh, while the sunny-eyed flowers lend an ethereal look to the fall landscape that can be juxtaposed against the coarser beauty of Vernonia crinita. Let shrubby roses or more sturdy perennials provide support in the back of the border, otherwise it will need staking or a spring pinching to ensure a shorter stature.

Blooms mid-August – October.

Size: 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

‘Little Carlow’ is lush and chipper. Its flowers are larger and a deeper violet-blue than those of A. cordifolius, and they have bright yellow centers. The green leaves, which reach to the ground, are also broader and darker. It blends well with tall grasses like Calamagrostis and Panicums and contrasts with gold-flowering plants such as Achillea ‘Marmalade’.

Blooms mid-August|#8211;early October

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Aster divaricatus (P-0023)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE WINTER 2019

<i>Aster divaricatus</i>

Small white flowers like finely cut daisies, with a yellow center, and elongated heart-shaped, coarsely toothed, dark green leaves, are displayed in large clusters on sinuous, purple-black stems. This Aster is better-known in Europe, where it’s used to light up shady urban gardens. We find it indispensable in the country too, for its tolerance of dry, shady sites. A good plant for the front of the border, try it with Hypericum kouytchense or broad-leafed perennials.

Blooms mid-July–September.

Size: 15" – 18" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Aster divaricatus ‘Beth Chatto’ (P-2025)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE SPRING 2020

The sparkling sprays of tiny white daisies with pink-blushed petals plus gilt cocoa-colored centers tarry above sleek, thin, divaricated eggplant-black stems plus stylish, slightly cordate, toothed green leaves. Sprouting from slow spreading rhizomes, this unique late-blooming Aster is more compact than the species and offers an exquisite delicacy, which the famed Gertrude Jekyll loved to showcase amid Bergenias. ‘Beth Chatto’ prospers in adequately moist shady alcoves, tolerates dry conditions once established and makes a fine-textured addition to bouquets.

Blooms mid-July–September

Size: 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Our anticipation soars as we wait for round buds to finally unfurl a galaxy of small starry blooms twinkling in rose-tinged lilac shades. Beneath the profuse late season display, tiny green leaves stay fresh for months, garnishing stiff branching stems, which angle out and form a well-mannered mound. Illuminated by citron-yellow centers with red streaks, the dainty daisies easily gratify companions like Achillea ‘Hella Glashoff’ or Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’.

Blooms mid-August–September.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Mirroring autumn’s warmth, this Aster’s unexpected golden floral hues bring a glittery Midas touch to the late season border. Arching branched sprays of copious small daisies with narrow buff white petals and prominent rich yellow centers rise above the well-groomed, dense leafy clump, which makes a congenial neighbor for Astrantias and Pennisetum spathiolatum.

Blooms September – October.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

Beloved by late season garden aficionados, florists and butterflies, this exceptional Aster spotlights wispy crisp white clouds of petite yellow-centered daisies hovering above well-tailored tiny green leaves that form a vigorous bushy clump. ‘Monte Cassino’s’ delicate illuminated texture becomes a simple-to-place ethereal filler, perfect for juxtaposing against bolder perennials such as Persicaria or Crocosmia.

Blooms late August–September

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Aster</i> x <i>frikartii</i> ‘Monch’

In some gardening circles, Monch is acclaimed as one of the 10 best perennials. Prolific, 2.5 in. lavender flowers bloom generously for months on end. The clear color blends with so many others: lilac-colored Geranium renardii, Ballota pseudodictamnus and Kniphofia Lemons Bee.

Blooms July–October

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’ (P-1240)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE 2020

<i>Aster laevis</i> ‘Bluebird’

If you are looking for a Aster with engaging late season color, impeccably handsome mildew resistant foliage and a medium-sized frame that never needs staking, look no farther! Clad in glabrous, bluish green leaves, the vase-shaped clump showcases numerous broad, bouquetlike clusters of single, one inch wide, delicately rayed petals gathered by gilded centers. The jubilant floral display is elevated on red-hued stems and seems to cover the entire top half of the plant. Undeterred by varied moisture levels and soil types, ‘Bluebird’ is a Mt. Cuba Center introduction.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 4' 0" high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster laevis</i> ‘Climax’

Unfurling later than most Asters, droves of spectacular soft blue-mauve flowers embroidered with yellow eyes signal autumn's arrival on beefy upright stalks. This erect strong growing perennial dons dense dark green leaves that maintain their winsome mildew-free appeal ‘till the caramel-colored seed heads begin to fade. A compelling presence for the mixed border, ‘Climax’ complements other fall bloomers such as Helianthus ‘Dakota Queen’ and Persicaria ‘Fat Domino’.

Blooms mid-September–October

Size: 2-1/2' – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Purchased when we were touring British nurseries nearly 20 years ago and sadly forgotten about, this peerless Aster recently grabbed our attention. Dashing, deep purple-infused green foliage and dense well-branched twiggy stems lift an exuberant profusion of small, rose-centered white daisies, whose fine-hewn petals mature with soft pink shades. Strong, tall and upstanding, seldom offered ‘Bleke Bet’ delivers late, long-lasting flowers plus refined texture, while escorting companions such as Eryngium yuccifolium and Calamagrostis ‘Cheju-Do’.

Blooms September|ndash;October

Size: 4' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’ (P-0700)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE SPRING 2020

<i>Aster lateriflorus</i> ‘Lady in Black’

Shrouded in mysterious tiny black-purple foliage, ‘Lady in Black’ offers sprays of small white flowers with a healthy blush of pink. Unlike ‘Prince’s tight clumping habit, this tall and elegant Dutch lady has spreading upright stems that spread over time.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 3-1/2' – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

This classy fine-textured Aster is cherished as much for its myriad late season blooms as for its bushy, ebony-infused purple foundation. Stiff horizontal branches plus dashing, narrow leaves cushion the buoyant display of petite white daisies embroidered with mulberry-hued centers. A flower-laden grace note in the autumnal border, ‘Prince’ can be surrounded by loyal subjects such as Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ and Phlomis tuberosa.

Blooms September–October

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2-1/2' – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster lateriflorus</i> ‘White Lovely’

A preeminent star of the fall show, ‘White Lovely’ entertains petite, thin-petaled white daisies tinged lilac when mature and brightened by sunny-side-up yellow eyes. The copious, late summer flowers are borne along horizontally branched leafy sprays of arching and wide-angled, purple-streaked stems with small, slender dark green foliage that never tuckers out.

We like to plant Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’ behind while headlining this elegant Aster right up front.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster macrophyllus</i> ‘Twilight’

A |ldquo;real winner|rdquo; is how the late celebrated plantsman and author Christopher Lloyd described this form of our versatile eastern North American native Aster. Slow spreading rhizomes plus toothed heart-shaped leaves compile an attractive green basal rosette, bearing upright red-imbued stalks and broad, openly branched flat-topped clusters of rich lavender-blue daisies with yellow centers that age to rose. Floriferous, mildew-free and amenable, |lsquo;Twilight|rsquo; can tolerate dry shady niches, be massed at a woodland|rsquo;s edge or be added to cottage gardens and perennial borders.

Blooms August-September

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Aster novae-angliae</i> ‘Harrington’s Pink’

Celebrated by Graham Stuart Thomas for conveying “much garden charm,” this well-loved Aster’s attraction is her pink flowers and her tall profile. Lavish quantities of delicate gold-centered daisies house nearly 50 layered, extra fine rays each, while cresting thick, straight, somewhat woody branched stalks.

Bred by Mr. Hilliard from Williamsburg, Iowa, the robust, grayish green clump crowded with stem-clasping, bristle-rough, 4 to 5 in. long leaves tolerates wet soil and some shade, resists mildew and can accompany Sedum ‘Indian Chief’ and blue blooming Asters.

Blooms August – September.

Size: 3' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Aster novae-angliae</i> ‘Purple Dome’

Lose yourself, like the linear, dark green fuzzy foliage, in a sea of royal purple flowers held on erect stems. Mildew resistant, compact and bushy, the handsome symmetrical mound becomes engulfed with 1-½ in. wide, golden-eyed, vividly colored daisies in a truly breathtaking spectacle, especially when planted en masse.

Dr. Richard Lighty developed this easy-care, late season show stopper that makes a sterling addition to arrangements and a captivating counterpoint to Stipa arundinacea.

Blooms August – early October.

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Aster novi-belgii</i> ‘Blue Danube’

This Aster’s alluring flowers promise a late season hurrah. Supported by stiff branching stems lined with verdant linear foliage, the blooms are the size of silver dollars, and layers of their closely set blue-violet petals radiate from yellow and maroon centers. ‘Blue Danube’ lends an air of elegance in the midst of Calamagrostis brachytricha and Angelica gigas.

Blooms September–early October.

Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

When this cultivar first bloomed in our garden, we were delighted to see such large flowers! A breathtaking contrast of pure white blossoms against handsome, verdant foliage with wine-colored veins creates a presentation even more spectacular than that of ‘Climax’. Combine with Origanum ‘Ed Carmine’ for a showy summer farewell.

Blooms September–early October

Size: 2-1/2' – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Introduced in 1960 by the legendary South Dakota-born cattle rancher and plantsman Claude Barr, this hard-working native plains Aster may be small on stature but is big on bloom. Densely arranged low spreading gray-green leaves forge a vigorous sturdy base that puts on a mighty fine fall showing of sweet sugary pink daisies with burnt orange centers. Withstanding drought, some afternoon shade and a wide range of soil, including clay, ‘Dream of Beauty’s remarkable floral output and tailored compact habit can be staged atop a garden wall or along a pathway.

Blooms September–October

Size: 12" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster oblongifolius</i> ‘October Skies’

Named for the copious, fine rayed, sunny-centered daisies, mirroring the azure atmosphere of a New England fall day, this Aster was also selected for its tidy short stature and easygoing, stalwart disposition. Small, narrow green leaves emit a light scent when handled and form a low, close-knit bushy mound that withstands dry, rocky or sandy soil. While the species is one of the last wildflowers to bloom in the eastern U.S., ‘October Skies’s lavender-blue flowers maintain their good looks after an early frost, lend jaunty accents to bouquets and beckon the butterflies.

Blooms September-October

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Mr. Raydon Alexander of San Antonio, Texas, said this hearty mint-scented Aster was his favorite, and we’re sure you’ll agree. Originating near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, drought tolerant ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ quickly forges a valiant, dense mound that gets buried under multitudes of bright blue-lavender daisies. With late richly colored flowers, distinguished by sunlit yellow eyes and fine-textured single rays, and a no-fuss, orderly nature, it proves indispensable in the fall border.

Blooms September – October

Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Aster</i> ‘Ochtendgloren’

Conjuring a zestful spirit as summertime wanes, this elegant Aster parades branched heads of dainty pink starlike blooms and darker pink buds. The long and narrow, densely set foliage that lines its stiff, sturdy stems is handsome right to the ground. Claiming Aster pringlei lineage, ‘Ochtendgloren’ merrily partners with Pennisetum ‘Moudry’ and Geranium ‘Buxton’s Variety’ in front of our Beech hedge.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Aster pyrenaeus</i> ‘Lutetia’

‘Lutetia’ is one of our favorite low growing Asters, and by summer’s end you’ll see why. Its pink buds open into a charming blanket of large, yellow-centered, pastel daisies with delicately splayed lavender petals, completely hiding the loose mound of finely textured foliage and intertwined, wiry, deep purple stems.

Blooms August–October

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Aster tataricus</i> ‘Jindai’

The name may sound like one of the bad guys from Star Wars, but this unique Aster is definitely on our side with its upright bearing and lush textural appeal. Not as towering as its moisture-loving Asian counterpart, ‘Jindai’ spawns huge, serrated rough-to-the-touch leafage on shorter stout stalks and abundant branched sprays of late-blooming violet flowers engraved by large saffron eyes. A stand-alone for the mixed border, its assertive look can offset finer textured plants like Spiraea ‘Ogon’ and Phlox ‘David’.

Blooms September|ndash;November

Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Aster turbinellus</i>

With a carefree cant, green, lance-shaped leaves have a lively look all season. Lean, dark violet-streaked stems give way to airy, lavender-colored sprays of glassine blossoms whose open petals are caught in a vivid yellow center. The red hues in the stems of Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ and Echinops enliven this Aster’s rich verdure.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Prized for an ebullient white floral display that’s both early and long lasting above plucky green leaves and an amenable pest-free bent, this mostly eastern American native gives you good reason to usher it into your garden. The straight staunch stalks yield ovate to lanceolate-shaped leaves beneath niveous, flat-topped branching clusters of spaced, thin-rayed flowers with creamy yellow centers. Beloved by bees and butterflies, Aster umbellatus is well-suited for cottage gardens, nectaries and sunny perennial borders, favoring moist sandy sites but adapting to dry conditions as well as clay soil and some shade.

Blooms August–September

Size: 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

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Latest News

Nearly Winter Sale!

Nearly Winter Sale!

Purchase a minimum of $100…MORE



Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Euphorbia mellifera

Click here to view our latest newsletter: Exceptional Euphorbias, Notable November Color, Nearly Winter Sale!

Exceptional Euphorbias...

This diverse genus includes approximately 2000 species! Some of our Euphorbias enliven the fall landscape with vibrant red, orange and yellow foliage while others remain evergreen, lending welcome year-round interest. Best of all, many are adorned with acid-green and chartreuse blooms in late winter and early spring, when few other plants are flowering. Appreciative of well-drained soil, Euphorbias are easily grown and their blooms make unique additions to cut arrangements. Be sure to check out our various online offerings!

Notable November Color...

As November comes to an end, a quieter mood prevails in our gardens. Many perennials are either dormant or getting ready for their winter’s rest. Though, some of the more stalwart ones, especially those that are located in protected spots still exhibit a foliar presence and a handful of flowers. The blades and dried buff or silver-hued inflorescences of quite a few ornamental grasses thankfully remain standing, providing movement and delightful rustling sounds. Many deciduous and evergreen shrubs continue to hold our interest either with fall color, artful bark and branching patterns or year-round foliage. The plants featured in this newsletter caught my eye during one of my walks through the nursery and garden this past week. All of us plant wranglers at Digging Dog hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and perhaps found some time to enjoy your garden.

Happy Digging!

Nearly Winter Sale!

Purchase a minimum of $100.00 in plants, and receive a 15% discount! If you are not ready for a plant delivery, you can purchase a $100 Gift Certificate for 15% off, which means $100.00 worth of plants for only $85.00 (They make fantastic Christmas presents - don't forget one for yourself....cash it in next spring!). Mention code: "Nearly Winter Sale 2019" in the customer comments section of our online order form, and we will deduct the sale discount when we confirm your shipping date. All plants must be in stock, and ship by December 17, 2019 to qualify for the discount. Sale runs November 30th thru December 15th, 2019.

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