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I visited the National Collection of Michaelmas Daisies on Saturday. It’s one of my favourite local gardens for its profusion of flowers and late season colour.

The collection is based at the Picton Garden in the village of Colwall just next to Malvern in Worcestershire. Asters have been bred and sold on this site since 1906. The present owner’s father Percy Picton bought the site in 1952 and he and then his son continued to create new varieties and sell Asters. The 1.5 acre garden has been developed to provide a setting to display their collection of Asters. The garden is a beautiful celebration of late summer/autumn planting.

Combining Asters with the prairie style planting of Rudbeckias, grasses and Heleniums, amongst others. The garden shows the importance of late flowering plants like those on display as a source of pollen and nectar – the garden teeming with bees almost delirious at the sight of so many flowers. There is also a good selection of trees and shrubs including Acers, Hydrangeas and Liquidambars, providing extra interest and a lovely backdrop from which the Asters can shine.

Old Court Nursery that is attached to the garden has an excellent selection of Asters, as one would expect and if you can’t make a visit then they sell via mail order too.  The garden is open from late August to late October when it is at it’s peak but the nursery is open a few days a week from May. The garden is set in a beautiful part of the country with the Malvern Hills and the pretty town of Malvern close by.

For more information go to www.autumnasters.co.uk

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