Asters - or Michaelmas Daisies as they are commonly called - are great plants for late summer and autumn flower power. Many Asters - Michaelmas Daisies - are normally unharmed by the first mild frosts, and can flower right through November.
They are normally hardy perennials - dying down each winter to greet us again in the spring. (Not a bad way of life!)
They probably lost much of their popularity, in that the older varieties were seemingly all of that same shade of blue - spreading all over the place - and needing support.
Asters are not fussy about soil conditions - or much else for that matter.
Cut them back each year after flowering. Grow new plants by the little rooted runners at the base - do this in spring or autumn. Divide plants every 2-3 years - discarding the older woody centre of the root stump and using the newer outer root mat.
Watch out for mildew on most varieties, and the slugs like a feast in