Every season I find some new underused plant that outperform my expectations. At the same time, I decide to cut ties with other plants that we’ve used on multiple jobs with lackluster results.

First the stinkers this year.

Syringa 'Bloomerang'
This is the best this plant will look. Usually it send up long stalks and thr rebloom is hardly worth talking about.

Syringa ‘Bloomerang’. I just haven’t been happy with this plant. I was sold on marketing. What’s not to like with a reblooming Lilac? Well the reality is plenty. Does Syringa ‘Bloomerang’ rebloom? It does, but it’s hardly worth writing about. In fact, it’s hardly noticeable. The flowers that form after spring are really, really small. I suppose a microscopic flower is better than no flower at all but what I dislike most is the growth habit. A lot of growth, not a lot of mass. For this reason, it had to be choppeed

Aster 'Purple Dome' leaf fungus
Aster ‘Purple Dome’ leaf fungus

Aster ‘Purple Dome’. This plant drives me crazy. Yes, it’s a native but not all natives are good. This is the case with Aster ‘Purple Dome ‘. It’s a dependable flower in a time you need more flowers but it drives me crazy. Every fall, just before it goes into it’s prime time, the foliage seems to wilt away due to a fungus. It happens every year and it’s really disappointing. It’s so unsightly, it’s hard to enjoy the flowers. For that reason it’s off the list.

The winners:

Aster October Skes
October Skies Aster

As a replacement to Aster ‘Purple Dome’, my choice has been Aster ‘October Skies’. It’s about the same height as ‘Purple Dome’ but takes up more real estate. Very solid performer and non of the problems of it’s relative.

For a replacement for Syringa ‘Bloomerang’, I’d chose the older Korean Lilac which has a similar leaf, a much nicer growth habit with one strong bloom in spring.

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