crego mix aster – our best surprise of the summer

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I decided to plant more flowers this year.  In the past, zinnias, cosmos, and a few smaller sunflowers were garden staples. This year, I got excited about flowers on the table and in the house, being able to give friends and hosts or hostesses fresh bouquets, and I wanted to try dahlias.  The dahlias were my big thing, not in quantity, but in anticipation.  Having never worked with tubers before, I was hopeful but also feeling like I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing and therefore hesitant about whether the resulting plants would be a success.  Well, the dahlias worked!  But what ended up being even cooler was the aster.  I expected to love the dahlias.  We were very pleasantly surprised by the funky aster!

imageHere is one of the dahlias with such deep color.  We picked two colors of dahlia and this was the one I picked, while D picked one that was a maroon with white tips.  The surprise success asters are the fluffy pink flowers on the sides.

imageEven though I started them from seed in the house the asters were relatively late to come and I wasn’t sure what they would look like.  As they bloomed, we just started oohing and aahing over them.  Some have a center, while others are just fluffy petals.  They came in really thick and tight with the marigolds so I am definitely planning on spreading things out even more next season.  Overall, our flowers were an improvement over the few varieties we had last year and we are already talking about making another garden, our sixth if you include the two perennial beds we have, dedicated just to flowers next year.

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Here are a couple white asters, some smaller pinks can also be seen.

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A yellow zinnia, a few orange and yellow calendula (we were also very happy with the calendula even though we direct seeded it relatively late, well, on time for our short growing season, but late in the year), and a purple and pink aster are also in the mix.

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imageMarigolds! I am usually not a marigold person, especially the low growing ones, but I found some very tall varieties good for cut flowers.  There is also a purple aster sneaking in the corner.

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imageOur dwarf sunflowers. These I would definitely give more space next year but they have such a great look and just kept producing!

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A view of several different varieties.  The zinnias, some cosmos in the back, a few marigolds and aster in the corner, and in the front are the purple larkspur that D really likes.

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Some really tall mammoth sunflowers with a group of calendula in front, down in our bigger garden. We ended up putting in some support stakes for the sunflowers as they were so tall. We had one windy afternoon where we were rushing to get the stakes in, worried that they would go down at any moment!  Well, that’s all from the garden for now. Upon waking to 39 degrees this morning we are really heading into fall.

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