Thursday, May 27, 2010

In Praise of Succulents: Outdoor Sedum Edition

In a post from last December, In Praise of Succulents: Sedum Edition, I counted the ways I loved my Sedums, mostly focusing on the indoor varieties I grow. I did post one picture featuring some Sedums in my outdoor garden, but no individual pictures.

Why do I love Sedums for the outdoors? For one, they are one of the few succulent genera that includes species hardy here in USDA Zone 5. For another, despite being succulents, they don't seem to object to my rather dense clay soil. They've held on and come back strong, despite the fact that we have had some wet summers over the last five years, one or two of them extremely so. They provide flowers in the early summer, and colorful foliage interest throughout the growing season. They are easy to grow from seed. I can also pick them up reasonably cheaply, if I look among the groundcovers, rather than the perennials, at the nursery.

First, a look at some of the varieties I grow:

Sedum platycladus

Sedum reflexum 'Blue Spruce'

Sedum spurium 'Dragon's Blood,' I think.

Another Sedum spurium cultivar.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

I think that these are both Sedum acre

I'm not sure about this one. It could be Sedum album 'Coral Carpet'. I love the color and form.

And to get an idea of where I grow them, here are some views of the bed along the sidewalk in front of my house, which they share with Salvia, Artemisia and Juniperus, among other plants.

Facing north

Facing east

Facing south

The Pi bed, facing west. The stones, which are somewhat obscured with foliage, are arranged in the form the Greek letter π (pi.) Mathematics was my husband's field of study, and he has a great affinity for π, enough that he has posted on various internet forums as "BobPi." The large green mounds are Sedum kamtschaticum.

Another nice thing about Sedums is that there are plenty of low-growing forms to choose from, all the better for a bed near the sidewalk. Low-growing plants don't obstruct the view of the rest of the garden from the street.


Julie said...

What a gorgoeus selection of sedums...and your garden there is beautiful! Thanks for telling me about the Dragon's Blood...I will look for some...I only wonder if it can take the sun and heat here...I may have to keep it in my screenroom. Hmmm.....oh well.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Just beautiful! I love sedum also. I will be taking a picture of my blue spruce soon because it is starting to bloom.