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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in sedum (3)


Scintillating Sedum: a Succulent Perennial

Of all the perennials that I have planted in my clients’ gardens so far this season, the one that seems to attract the most attention is Sedum “Frosty Morn’. This is an unusual plant because its foliage is incredibly attractive to the eye. The center of each leaf is shaded silver-blue-green with wide margins of cream. The combination of these two colors creates a shimmer that tugs at the eye. It’s hard to glance away from it. Unlike most other Sedum that do triple duty as specimens of architectural foliage, bright autumn floral displays, and a drought  resistant nature, this variety is grown mostly for its foliage. Its  flowers are non-descript.

I deliberately do not use this perennial as a specimen. I insert it into foliage compositions of jade-green Sedum, silver-blue Artemisia or Dianthus and purple Sedum. Somehow it becomes the glue that binds these collections together and enhances all of the other plants simply by growing among them.



Spectacular Perennial: Sedum Spectabile

Image courtesy of wikimedia.orgIt doesn’t get easier than this!

Sedum spectabile or Tall Sedum is a low maintenance sun-loving plant that is tough. It can handle heat, drought, clay, salt and lots of neglect. This is a  compact, hardy plant that will grow into a neat bouquet 18 to 24 inches in height [depending on the cultivar] on sturdy stems that do not flop. Its succulent leaves, in shades of lime, apple or gray green, offer sculptural shapes, unusual color and smooth texture. And all that occurs long before the plant explodes into bloom. The non-fading pink or red color of the broccoli-shaped florets last up to 10 weeks. By autumn, they turn darker and browner at a time when most garden flowers are going dormant. Spent flower heads may be left uncut until spring as they offer dramatic interest all winter long. Want to propagate? It’s a snap, literally! In early summer, break off a stem from the plant and stick it into earth. Alternatively, it may be easily propagated by digging up and slicing the root ball into several sections. This may be done any time during the growing season without harm. Recently, florist shops have not only been including Sedum in creative floral arrangements but have also begun to feature them as spectacular autumn centerpieces. Wow!


Web Photos That I Like

This photograph demonstrates how critical it is to pay attention to the spacing of plants and the location of sun when planning a perennial garden. The key plants in this composition are tall pink Eupatoreum in the background and silver-blue Perovskia in the front of the border. The annual, Verbena  bonariensis, separates the two. In this picture, Perovskia appears to be growing horizontally instead of upright and stately as it is known to do. Usually a composition of pink and silver blue is eye-catching because the two colors play off against each other. It is less successful when Perovskia kneels to find the sun. What appears to have happened here is that Perovskia is being crowded out by the plant behind it and is not receiving full sun all day long. Instead, as the sun moves away from this composition, the Perovskia bends over to follow it. Many gardeners are content to leave this composition as it is and to enjoy the casualness of the composition. Those that insist on a neater looking garden, or who want the pink and silver-blue to be closer together, will stake Perovskia to keep it upright. Being a vigorous plant, strong stakes will be required. In the left foreground of the picture, the silver-green low-growing plant is Sedum. This photograph was taken at Kilmalu Gardens on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.