African Garden + wildflowers

Pinched "Asters"
Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird' today

The penny has finally dropped. I noticed last year that my ex-asters, Symphyotrichum novae angliae and Symphyotrichum laeve, started blooming later than they used to and later than other ex-asters in the area. I noticed the same phenomenon this year, but now I have the answer. It is, you guessed it, that I started pinching, or cutting back, my plants last year. I hadn't intended to do so for the smooth blue ex-aster, Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird', but the deer did some pruning and they made a bad job of it, which I had to fix up. The result, obvious when you think on it, is delayed blooms.

Several chomps were also taken out of the New England ex-asters, but mostly I went a little pruner-happy on them.

Symphyotrichum novae angliae 'Hella Lacey' yesterday

(The S. novae angliae out back, where the deer do not roam, started two weeks ago.) Next year, a few stems at the very back of each plant will be left unpruned. Unless the deer get there first.

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Pinched "Asters" + wildflowers