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.