One of the joys of gardens is the way they develop through the seasons, looking different from one week to the next. But maintaining that level of interest can be a bit of a challenge though, so I bring you Sedum Autumn Joy.
Colour plays a huge part in the autumn garden and whilst I love the the orange and russet reds of autumn, it’s been good to see the deep reds of these Sedum plants in recent weeks.
These herbaceous perennials bring a strong shape to borders, there are lots of other varieties mostly with a range of red flowers, but also white.
The clusters of flower buds start off a light appley-green colour, then pin-pricks of pink begin to show through until all the tiny pink flowers have emerged by mid-summer. The pale pink deepens to this strong red as summer changes into autumn.
The flower-heads eventually turn chocolate-brown and can be left until they start to disintegrate as the winter takes hold. In very wet weather they turn into an unattractive brown mush, and that’s the time to cut them down.
The fleshy leaves remain this soft colour, gradually fading to yellow, before they too disintegrate in winter.
They’ll be dormant over winter until the rosettes of fleshy green leaves start up again the following spring.
Butterflies and bees love them, so they’re a plant that contributes a lot to your garden. They need a very well-drained soil in a sunny position and look best planted in groups.
They suit the company of grasses such as Stipa tenuissima, whose wafting shape contrasts beautifully with the outline of the Sedum.
Their vital statistics are 50 x 50cm.
Have a good weekend.
images: Jill Anderson