Happy fall! As we wait for autumn to put on it's magnificent show in full color, I've been contemplating the versatility of a rather common perennial - sedum.
Although found in almost every back yard, upright sedum, also known as border sedum, has so many things going for it. It is easy to grow and it is not demanding. The sedum family in general doesn't need much water or much of your time. It's easy to propagate, and transplants well. It's a staple in the perennial garden, just hanging out rather unassumingly until fall, when it turns from lime green to shades of pink, red, and rust. This year I've begun to notice it more - appreciating it's clean, well-behaved habit in spring, admiring the lime green hue all summer, and enjoying it's transformation as it takes on it's fall color.
I've also been noticing how it goes with just about anything in the garden making it a versatile plant in the landscape. It mixes well with shrubs like this hydrangea above. Even next to the broad leaves of the hosta (even though flawed), it provides a contrasting texture in a part sun/part shade location.
Here at Burlington Garden Center, it's planted with it's typical fall partner - 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass (photo above), but looks attractive all summer when skirted with red-flowering annuals.
I love all the texture in the photo above provided by boxwood, sedum, and another 'Karl Foerster'.
The foundation planting below is a drift of sedum, Miscanthus 'Adagio' ornamental grasses, hardy geranium, and black-eyed susans. Instead of planting just one clump of sedum, several were planted together to balance the other plantings and the wide front porch.
One of my favorite compositions in my yard is in the photo below. I've been watching it all spring, summer, and now fall and am enjoying the changes in color with each season. Conifers, like this weeping blue spruce, is a good match for sedum. 'Coppertina' Ninebark, 'Shenandoah' Switch grass, 'Autumn Leaves' coral bells, and a pot of annuals complete the colorful scene.
Sedum can even stand alone like it does in the very first photo next to the blue chippy bench. It can compliment a planting of coneflowers and daylilies. It plays well with just about any plant in a spot with at least 4-6 hours of sun. If you don't have a clump or two of sedum in your yard, consider adding it to your cart the next time you visit the Burlington Garden Center.
Learn more about the versatility of sedum in 'The Plant Lover's Guide to Sedum' by Brent Horvath. Pick up your copy here at BGC!
BGC Store Manager & Horticulturist
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