Monthly Archives: June 2012

Now you sedum … in the ground and elsewhere

Low-growing sedum is an amazingly useful family of succulents. In addition to the pots of sedum shown in my previous post, low-growing sedum make wonderful groundcovers.

Along a hardscape pathway, sedum provides contrast in color and texture to pavers. Once established, this is a very low-maintenance planting.

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The same type of sedum contrasts well with the fuzzy leaves and color of Lamb’s Ear.

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Different forms of sedum can be combined …

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and sedum will fill in difficult, dry sites, especially along sunny driveways.

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Another type of white-blooming sedum serves as a driveway edge groundcover at Garden on High in Farmington, CT, one of The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour gardens.

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Sedum dresses up fieldstone walls … and generally grows where other plants might not.

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Sedum roots readily, but also easily releases its hold on soils when it shows up where not wanted.

Sedum is perennial in Connecticut’s hardiness zones 5, 6 and 7. It will even overwinter in wire baskets left outside through cold winters as did this sedum below.

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I needed a filler last spring when planting pansies in this basket. Sedum fit the bill. When the pansies succumbed to summer heat, the sedum took over. When freezing temps caused the sedum to blacken I removed the unattractive foliage and filled the basket with evergreen and holly branches. When the winter dressing no longer looked good, the sedum was beginning to peak up from the soil. This spring I simply tucked in some extra pansies and let the sedum do it’s thing. The remaining pansy in this photo will die back, but the sedum, all gathered from my gardens, will look good for the rest of the summer. When it gets too leggy, I just cut it back and throw the cuttings in the compost pile.

As life gets more hectic and time becomes more tight, look to the multiple types of sedum to give your garden beds and pots color, texture and general interest with minimal need for care.

Here’s one more container idea using sedum, also from Garden on High in Farmington, CT.

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Garden thoughtfully …

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Now you sedum … potted.

Sedum, hens and chicks, and other small succulents have become one of the latest gardening crazes … they are easy to care for, require minimal watering and offer seemingly endless opportunities for stretching one’s container gardening creativity. Sedum and Sempervivum, the botanical family name for hens and chicks, have intricate leaf patterns in shades of yellow-green, gray-green, dark red and variegations of these colors. They will flower, but their growth patterns are their main draw.

When seeking ideas for two easy-care containers for either side of a set of stairs, I started with blue planters then headed to the succulents area of my local garden center. The most difficult part of the entire project was choosing which succulents to plant. I settled on two hens & chicks, Sempervivum ‘Mayfair Red’ for its dark red hue and the more gray-green S. ‘Pyrenaicum’ with red-tinged tips. Red and green Sedum ‘Antique Grill’ and  all green Sedum pachyclados complement their container-mates.

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Planting took just 15 minutes. The pair of containers looked like this instantly.

You don’t need flowers for visual interest.

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The growth patterns of these succulents is enough to capture anyone’s attention.

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The containers mark the start of a retaining wall and greet us as we walk down and up adjacent steps. The mate to this one (not shown) rests on the opposite side of the walkway.

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Sedum and hens & chicks look fantastic planted in the openings of a strawberry jar; hens & chicks in the top and cascading sedum in the side pockets. They look beautiful in hypertufa containers and in simple clay pots. Cascading sedum makes great hair in bust planters. Leaking bird baths can be repurposed as succulent planters, succulents are perfect for green roofs and as green walls or a  sedum tile as my friend Debbie at A Garden of Possibilities recently noted.  Or, dress up an old tree stump or hollow log with sedum. Visit me on Pinterest to see a slew of ideas for succulent containers, and if you have one or a few of your own, please share.

Sedum can also be great ground covers … more on that in a future post.

Garden thoughtfully …

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Joene Hendry

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in Connecticut

Mid-way through June and it’s again garden party day in the garden blogging world. On the 15th of each month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. She posts what is blooming in her garden and gives bloggers all over the world the opportunity to share what is blooming in their gardens. Whether you garden or not, the photos are wonderful and inspiring. In my Connecticut garden 2012 blooms continue to be about two weeks earlier than they were in 2011.

The Endless Summer hydrangea (H. macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ is already showing color.

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Most of the iris have gone by but this Iris louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’ is still in bloom while my two types of iris ensata should open any day.

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My favorite weird bulb, Allium Hair, is at her peak.

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Nasturtium, self-sown from last year, are happily dressing up a long planting bed near our pool where I grow potted peppers, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce.

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Some nasturtium flowers peak out from under their variegated leaves.

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Rose campion in front of a blue spruce play nicely together.

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Spirea Double Play Artist, a 2011 gift from Proven Winners, has grown quite a bit from its tiny 4-inch pot size and now begins to show its true colors.

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Rose bloom has been spectacular so far this spring. The current star in my gardens is a shrub rose, Mystic Meidiland, that struggled for years in a different location. It’s very happy now that it is protected from browsing deer.

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Foxglove have also bloomed amazingly well. This bed of foxglove dresses up the edge of our front yard. The photo shows it’s peak, on June 6. It still has color today, but is nearing the end of its show.

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There’s so much more – daylilies just opening, sage and salvia, astilbe and more roses, lamb’s ear and lavender, yarrows, sedum and scabiosa – but now it’s time to visit the other gardens on display at May Dreams Gardens . Enjoy the show.

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