Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sedum: Autumn Joy

Autumn is upon us. I can always tell when the phone rings, and it's Kathleen. We're fall birthday girls and email addicts, so we rarely 'talk' to one another. When birthdays roll around, it's time to pick up the phone, check flights to Chicago and make big plans.

Certain plants remind me of certain people and so it is with Kathleen and Sedum. Each year, this fall perennial bursts into bloom right about the time she and I reconnect, every year.

She works all season long, growing bigger and bigger, overshadowed by all the summer-blooming perennials. Her buds are covered with rambling bumble bees... and then, like clockwork, she opens up right about the time everything else has tired out.

There are lots of kinds of Sedum ~ and if you want my advice I think you should one of every kind. Fall-blooming Mums are nice but she is pretty breathtaking in comparison. Not fussy about soil, drought-tolerant and a pretty sweet roadside diner for migrating butterflies.

Speaking of migration, she's off on another adventure. This time an African Photo Safari. I live vicariously through K's travels.

Sedum blooms from August to September, adding luscious color to the fall garden. Pale green foliage resemble the leaves of a jade plant. Taking their cue from deciduous trees, the rosy pink flowers mature to a lovely brick red before the first hard frost.

It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~ John Leonard

* Deadhead in spring.
** The Royal Horticultural Society gave Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy' the Garden Merit Award. USDA zones 3-10.
*** Me: 10/16, Kathleen: 11/6 - send us birthday cards! It takes our mind off the fact that we're growing old.

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