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

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

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Entries in succulent plants (1)

Thursday
May262011

Sedum Elsie's Gold

Some gardeners and garden writers are so quick to look down upon big box retailers, that they overlook the fact that mega retailers not only make a significant contribution to the financial success of the horticultural industry but that they also contribute to the gardening pleasure of their customers. Satisfaction depends upon which big box retailer one chooses. Some are clearly better at servicing gardeners than others.

Last season, I purchased a bag of 5 plants of Sedum Elsie’s Gold at Costco. Imagine that? No other nursery in my area had ever stocked this plant before. And if that had, it might have been for one season only, as a novelty. I was glad to have found it. Its unique coloration made me happy. Although it was slow to establish, one year later, I have two respectably sized plants and three that are still in their seedling state. That’s unusual for Sedum. However I should remember that buying perennials in April that were packaged overseas in January and not planted until end May was a sure way to stifle any plants growth.

Sedum Elsie’s Gold has an unusual color combination. Unlike the monochrome jade or purple varieties of most Sedum that blend easily into garden compositions, this perennial succulent stands out from all others. It requires a different design approach. And that is in spite of its beauty. Wherever I placed it just didn’t seem right because the yellow in its foliage was difficult to visually anchor in flower beds that had no other yellow flowers. To complicate design strategy, by the autumn, when it flowers, the yellow edging will have turned to cream.

Rather than struggle with it in the composition of a flower bed, I have decided instead to use it as a focal piece in a composition of succulents for a large concrete flower pot. The rules of plant composition in containers tend to be bolder and more adventurous so that almost anything is possible. I will report on its success as soon as the incessant rains cease so that I can go outdoors to admire my first attempt at a succulent based container garden.