Now you might think it strange for my plant of the week to be an Aster, after all it's a long time since September when its pretty white daisy flowers were in full bloom but Aster is one of those plants, which for me, look just as gorgeous when just a bunch of twigs and tiny star like dried flowers in the Winter.
Last year my Aster was a little shorter than usual as after seeing Rachel De Thame on Gardeners' World perform the Chelsea chop on such perennials and I thought I would perform this operation on my Aster. I thought I had made a huge mistake as it just looked a straggly mess but the resulting shorter stems, meant that it didn't flop over (I am sometimes a little lax when staking, despite my good intentions at the beginning of the growing season) although the quantity of flowers remained the same.
I don't usually cut back my perennials in the Autumn but save that task 'till the Winter or even Spring, depending on when the urge to tidy up takes me. I had a sudden urge last week but before everything was chopped to the ground, I captured the delicate dried flowers of my Aster - just beautiful!