"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Autumn Asters (3 of 3)

Autumn Asters (3 of 3)

From Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden by Eleanor Perenyi:

“Plants that bloom in cloudy masses are a boon to the perennial border because with no effort on your part they produce ‘drifts of color.’ The phrase is Gertrude Jekyll’s. Jekyll, like Monet, was a painter with poor eyesight, and their gardens — his at Giverny in the Seine valley, hers in Surrey — had resemblances that may have sprung from this condition. Both loved plants that foamed and frothed over walls and pergolas, spread in tides beneath trees; both saw flowers in islands of colored light — an image the normal eye captures only by squinting….

“The charm of asters is their fluffy heads and ravishing colors — dusty pinks and powder-blues, strawberry reds and amethyst purples — and the way they arrange themselves in a bowl. I can’t resist them and invariably let optimism get the better of judgment, which come to think of it may be the first principle of gardening.”

From Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden by Gertrude Jekyll:

“There is a small-growing perennial Aster, A. corymbosus, from a foot to eighteen inches high, that seems to enjoy close association with other plants and is easy to grow anywhere. I find it… one of the most useful of [the] filling plants for edge spaces that just want some pretty trimming but are not wide enough for anything larger….

”The little thin starry flower is white and is borne in branching heads; the leaves are lance-shaped and sharply pointed; but when the plant is examined in the hand its most distinct character is the small fine wire-like stem, smooth and nearly black, that branches about in an angular way of its own.”


This is the third of three posts featuring aster varieties from Oakland Cemetery’s gardens, where I took some my earlier aster photos, resized them, and removed the backgrounds. The “drifts of color” seem even more “ravishing” on black.

The previous posts in this series are Autumn Asters (1 of 3) and Autumn Asters (2 of 3).

Thanks for taking a look!


  1. Boy these flowers look so bright, fresh and appealing – -we’re technically not even in winter yet and I’m missing seeing colors, we’ll have all-white drifts soon, and any foaming/frothing will be from me, walking through the slush! 🙂 (Just kidding). These do look great, isolated with the black background.

    1. Dale

      Thanks! I really do like taking the time to render these on black, so I appreciate the comment.

      I had photographed similar flowers in previous years, just calling them “daisies” because I didn’t know any better, and thought it was a fluke that they were blooming in November. Now I know that’s what they’re supposed to do!

      I also just learned today, from a book published in 1879, that one variety was first discovered in 1846 on Stone Mountain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Mountain), about 15 miles from my house, is native to Georgia and Alabama, and has been commonly called the “Confederate Daisy” — though maybe just during Civil War reenactments.

      I may have made up that last part. Even so, flowers and plants, as it turns out, can have a very interesting history!


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