After missing the first several Plant Of The Month selections made by the kids at Gardening Gone Wild, when this month’s choice was *Succulents* I had to join in no matter what was in the queue for post material. While several succulents are growing happily here, it is the sedums that are the workhorses of the path borders. One would be hard pressed to find a better filler along the gravel walkways. Number one in the hearts of humans and insects alike is Sedum ‘Matrona’. This sedum appeared in Germany in Ewald Hugin’s garden. It was introduced to the trade in 1991. It is a cross between Sedum ‘Atropurpureum’ x S. ‘Autumn Joy’. The word matrone in German means a lady of well rounded form. Height 2-3′. Space 24″ apart. Grows best in full sun. Blooms Aug-Sept. Perennial in Zones 4-10. Butterflies and bees alike love it, just ask the skippers and bumble shown above.One of the best attributes of Matrona is the erect standing stalks, even well into the cold season they give that elusive winter interest.Purple stems and darker purple flowers come from the S. Atropurpureum parent, with the stiff upright form of Autumn Joy, this is a plant that will complement all its neighbors. In the bed we call the hedge path, it joins the Japanese blood grass at the feet of the spring blooming deciduous azaleas that front the Chamaecyparis Gold Mops hedge to carry the color through summer into fall.Shown above with the sheffies in early November.Same scene in mid December.Before there was Matrona, there was S. ‘Autumn Joy’. When I very first started gardening at my very first house that we owned not rented, in central Pennsylvania, a neighbor let me dig a clump of this sedum. Neither of us knew what it was, or anything about it except it was very hardy and looked good all through the year. Learning more about gardening from books on the subject, this sedum was on every list of must have perennials. We have used it as a filler for it can be divided into many pieces and will even grow roots from a piece of the stem stuck into the ground. It was planted when we first bought this house and the kids were holding many soccer parties here. Even stepped on and flowers broken off, it would regrow happily. When we came to live here and did the big remodel, it was split into pieces to line the daylily hill. That now seems boring to me and other plants are replacing that row planting, but Autumn Joy will remain on that hill more in a drift than a row. The things we learn as we age.The fall colors of Autumn Joy add to the overall landscape. Upper left corner shows fothergilla, dogwoods in the background.The winter form is pleasing as well. Note Matrona on the left of the path, Autumn Joy on the right.Added a couple of years ago, as a gift from offspring Semi is S.’Black Jack’. So far this has not been as rewarding as the two aforementioned sedums, even though this photo shows what Jack is capable of. His stems are not stiff, he is a bit lax and loses much of that dark leaf color as summer progresses. He seemed a perfect addition to the black garden, but so far is a disappointment.
As with all the photos, you may click on those below to enlarge.Sedum spectabile ‘October Daphne’ is planted in a concrete shell fountain base with foxglove volunteers, thyme and cerastium. It blooms in September and looks good spring through frost.
This planter sits next to the stone steps that are a favorite spot here.
The rusted out metal wheelbarrow planter that was found on the property is planted with assorted small sedums, blood grass and seems to attract wayward seeds of salvias and talinum, among other things. Shown left and above with and without frost.
The safety and height of the wheelbarrow provide a good location to display the smaller sedums that are planted there. Red dragon and pine leaf sedums live in harmony, but are watched closely by the gardener for signs of aggression towards new and more delicate additions.
Also growing in the Fairegarden are Angelina, Vera Jameson, Purple Emperor, Morning Light, Kamschaticum, Aureovariegata, Autropurpureum, S. acre and many low growing unknowns. No garden would be complete without the aesthetic enhancement of some superb succulent sedums.