Name: Aster novi-belgii ‘Wood’s Blue’ aka Wood’s Blue aster.
Type of Plant: A short, perennial New York aster in the “Wood’s series” that is hardy in zones 4 – 8.
Why I Love This Plant: One of the best reasons to grow perennials is that you have a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year. In other words, no perennial blooms for months and months and that’s a blessing. Because when a fall-blooming aster, ‘Wood’s Blue,’ for example, comes into bloom it’s a seasonal celebration.
I love this aster because it’s short. In my gardens it grows to only about 12” tall. I also love that it gently spreads, so it fills in the front of a border well over time. Finally, I love the fact that it’s willing to grow in the drier, hotter, sandier spots in the garden…and the bees love it!
A Word to the Wise: If you’re the type of gardener who doesn’t want to edit out some plants and move things around, you might not like this plant. Or if you expect perennials to “stay in their place,” avoid this aster. But if you’re willing to work with a plant’s natural habits, go out of your way to plant ‘Wood’s Blue’ for fall color.
Very pretty. I planted Aster Purple Dome for the first time but it’s very leggy. The Wood’s Blue in your photos doesn’t appear to have this problem. BTW. I love your blog – your recap of plants is to the point and your photos are great!
Yes – Woods Blue is shorter than Purple Dome so that the bottoms don’t show as much. Note that if you shear Purple Dome in mid to late May and take the top 3-4″ off it will be more compact and full the rest of the season. I do this yearly to Raydon’s Favorite.