The Charmed Garden

From Planning to Planting, and from Harvest to Table.

Sedum Joy All Year Round

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This time of year I am grateful for the plants in my garden that aren’t asking me to do anything but wave hello. There are so many things that require are attention all day long. So it’s really nice to come home to a few things that give more than they take and yes there are colorful plants that do that for me. The Sedum is way at the top of the list.

Sedums come in a variety of shapes and colors, but the most popular is the Sedum Autumn Joy.

This is the most common color used in the home landscape

This is the most common color used in the home landscape

This drought resistant beauty, grows quick in sun or part shade. It comes in many sizes and colors.

a purpled stemmed variety

a purpled stemmed variety

About nine years ago, a very nasty storm swept a portion of my garden into the neighbors freshly dug foundation frame (a giant hole next to our yard). In order to save as many plants as quick as possible I threw then into pots. I left this sedum in the pot and over wintered it in the garage, telling it and myself that I would find a spot for it in the garden in the spring.  Nine years later I have stopped promising it a spot in the garden as it is just perfectly happy where it is.

I  put it in the garage each winter and simply pull it back out in the spring. I don’t water or fertilize it. It fills an otherwise colorless space with green all summer and pink in the fall.  Although I knew this was a hardy plant when I first put it in this pot, I had no idea it would last this long in this pot with literally no care at all.  At this point I think it has become one with the pot and would be a devil of a job to get it out.

What I have done with it is take cuttings from it to share with my family.  You can pop a piece off a Sedum and root it in a glass of water quite easily.  Once it has hardy roots, no matter the size of the plant, you can pot it or plant it in your garden. In fact this little beauty is such a terrific little propagator that it will show up in the cracks of my driveway. My mom took one of those little runaways home and potted the tiny bugger.  My expert advice to her was to neglect it. Don’t even bring it in off her apartment balcony for the winter.  A year later it has filled  the pot.   So go for it !!! Literally anyone can grow this beauty. No offense Mom.

 

an accidental wonder

an accidental wonder

On a design note, Sedums can be combined with any of your favorite perennials, such as Black Eyed Susans, Coreposis, Cone Flowers and especially perennial grasses. They are also perfect in mass plantings in the front of a garden bed, with the Sedum framing the taller perennials.

The bonus here is that Sedum do not need to be cut back in the fall/early winter. Their sturdy flower stalks and oval flower heads stand up straight through piles of snow. They look really cool all winter long.

Sedums grow fast and provide a four season view. They are invited all kinds of pollinators and propagate so easily they’ll show up in the cracks of your driveways.  They make a grand impressive bouquet all on their own. They are so accommodating that while sitting in the vase  in the center of your table, they will grow new roots so you can replant it or share it. What more do you want in a plant. So come, join the Sedum wagon.

Author: Laurine M. Byrne

I received my certification as a Landscape Designer from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and I received my horticulture education through classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois and through the master gardener program at Univ of Illinois Extension. In my designs, I love mixing veggies and herbs with native perennials and flowering bushes as you can see from the pictures of my own yard. I love creating gardens for people who like to garden, not just installing traditional landscaping, but actually creating gardens that the homeowner connects to personally. I love that my clients who thought they couldn't grow anything now have green thumbs, because all it takes is the right plant in the right site. And I really love that my clients become my friends in the process of creating their gardens.

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