Five years later, with lots of natural reseeding, the picture below shows what the flower bed looks like!
Asters are long-legged, weedy plants when you let them go wild like this, and must be cordoned off so they don't completely cover the sidewalk. Until they bloom, they are not particularly attractive, since the leaves at the bottom turn brown and fall off while the top half is getting ready to blossom, but oh, when they do bloom!
My neighbors kindly put up with the sidewalk (which we share) being out of commission for the last two months of the asters' growth cycle, just to arrive at that all-important month, October, when the stalks are covered with the small, daisy-like purple flowers (and with many ecstatic bees, june-bugs and butterflies).
Since the asters always oblige me by coming out just in time for my birthday on October 4, I decided to cut a few this morning (they're barely started, not in full glory) and combine them with some Mexican sage, some orange double marigolds, and a crimpy little scented geranium in a white transfer-ware pitcher that was my mom's. I added in a couple of tubes of (appropriately colored) paint just for interest. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until I finished that not only had I placed the horizon line at an awkward height in relation to the pitcher, but that it was at exact dead center across the page--deadly! Oh, well...
This satisfies Challenge #245--draw something "October." Asters.