Is not the aster a pretty flower? That is certainly what I thought when I purchased the packet of seeds in the spring. I duly sowed them in a tray then transplanted them to pots when they came of age. When the frosts were gone, they went outside. Few of them grew, few of them survived the slugs and not one of them flowered. Yet here, at the gardens of Belton House, they thrive.

Of course, the asters of Belton likely benefited from a nice greenhouse rather than a kitchen window. They certainly enjoyed the skills of a professional gardener rather than an amateur such as me. Or might we attribute the plant’s success to the better climate of Lincs rather than Lancs? Or the soil? The possibilities are endless and ultimately irrelevant. My plants failed and Belton’s succeeded. I am just glad that I was able to enjoy this aster when I did.

Some people move to Salem Chapel from other churches, while some people move from Salem Chapel to go elsewhere. It is the same kingdom, and same King. Go where you will grow, and stay where you will prosper.

There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting,
And He bids you to come meet Him there,
Just to bow and receive a new blessing
In the beautiful garden of prayer.

-Eleanor Scholl, 1920