Lots of National Trust properties have collections of some sort , usually within the building, but Upton House has a National Plant Collection of Asters and they make a visit at this time of year extra special. The garden itself is set on a south facing slope which is quite a challenge. The collection has examples of varying heights and colours range from white through various shades of purple and a few pink to cerise ones, too. Some flowers are quite small and star-like whilst others are open and particularly attractive to butterflies. Double flowers give a stronger splash of colour. In addition to keeping these heritage varieties available they are extremely attractive to insects such as bees and butterflies. During our visit we saw, red admirals, large whites and comma butterflies. The collection forms only a small part of the garden although there are more asters, or Michaelmas Daisies as some know them, in the borders, too. A real autumnal plant and important food source for insects at this time of year, they also feature in harvest festival floral arrangements.
Seasonal touches can be important in setting a scene. Being aware of which plants are in bloom at different times of the year can help to avoid unlikely combinations. Even with unusual weather patterns asters and daffodils are an example.