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Gardening & More: Plant Septemberís flower, the aster, in your flower beds

GREEN THUMB ó Asters are a great way to add color to your autumn garden. Since they are perennials, they will return every year. Photo submitted by Murray Brothers Nurseries.
When so many other perennials have passed their peak and you start to think that our gardening season is ending, the aster opens its petals and reminds us there can still be a lot going on in our gardens.

My aster just started blooming, about two weeks ago, and is a welcome sight. I expect it will continue to bloom for several more weeks.

ďAsters add a nice, bright pop of color thatís different than mums,Ē said Tara Perrin, assistant manager at Murray Brothers Nurseries, located at 4735 Transit Road, at the corner of 20A in Orchard Park.

Asters like drier conditions, so you do not have to worry about spending a lot of time watering. They are perennials and overwinter easily.

Murray Brothers has asters in pink and blue in stock. They grow about 1 Ė 2 feet tall and some can get taller.

The name aster comes from the Greek word for star. The asterís petals look like rays of starlight reaching out from its warm, yellow center.

There is much folklore surrounding asters. In ancient times, it was believed that burning aster leaves would drive away evil serpents. It is said that the plant is ruled by Venus and is useful in love potions.

They symbolize many different traits: contentment, patience, variety, daintiness, faith, wisdom and valor.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will hold its annual succulent show from 10 a.m. Ė 5 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 7.

The succulent show, designed by Julie Hughes and Teresa Mazikowski, gardeners at the Botanical Gardens, was a visitor favorite last year.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Members and children under 3 attend free.
Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com.
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