Not just the typical Michaelmas Daisy, we offer others with more interest. Many of the less common species are more or less mildew free and a better, moister soil will help with all species. A very varied family but recent changes to naming will soon see some moved to other families (when I believe them!).
The Aster family is a huge group of plants, from most of the northern hemisphere, made up, basically, of what was left after the botanists had divided the obvious groups of daisies out of the family formerly known as Compositae, now known as Asteraceae. As a result some of the species bear little relation to each other and the new name changes make sense on a botanical level, just a pity some of the new names will be so hard to spell and pronounce compared to Aster!
As a whole, the Asters are summer and autumn flowering perennials, mostly with good upright stems that produce interesting fluffy seedheads later in the year, very useful for naturalistic gardening. Most of them like an ordinary soil, not too wet or dry, in sun or a little shade but there are a few that prefer at least some shade.
Most can be given a Chelsea-chop if required, cutting back the new growth in spring from c. 30cm to c. 15cm, to encourage side branhes and a denser, lower growing clump. It doesn't work with all of them, so ask or experiment before chopping the whole plant off!
An easy, reliable and tough hybrid (A. novae-angliae x A. ericoides) with arching stems carrying large sprays of thousands of small pink flowers in late summer and autumn. Best cascading down a slope or over a wall. 50cm. Sun.
An unusual Aster with its shiny green leaves, black stems and masses of small white flowers with yellow centres that rapidly turn pink - and it likes shade! Low clumps to 60cm, flowers midsummer. Any reasonable soil in shade or part shade.
Superficially similar to A. divaricatus in flower. Loose clumps of large green leaves and branched stems to 50cm. Largish white flowers in summer, earlier than A. divaricatus. Shade or part shade, average soil.