Monday, August 23, 2010
Telling Time with Sedums
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
How do I know when fall is approaching. Do I look at the calendar...nope. I know there is a technical first and last day of each season, but they seldom correspond to what we experience in the great outdoors. Animals too are somewhat unreliable. My dad would often tell me that seeing a lot of one animal or none of another meant summer was going to be late, or winter would be extra nasty...but it seldom held any truth. So how do I know fall is approaching...I look at my Sedum. Once I see that first blush of color, I know I'll soon be bidding adieu to summer.
It's especially useful this year, because if you walked down our streets any time in the last few weeks, you might think it was the first week of October. Hot, dry weather along with strong winds have caused trees to drop a lot of leaves prematurely this year. There are already mounds of oak and birch leaves all around the neighborhood...which causes a bit of sensory conflict. It's 96° out, but it looks like Autumn...hmmm.
Anyway, I remember first planting 'Autumn Joy' while growing up in Nebraska...probably in High School. My mom HATED them...she disliked that they were green all summer and before blooming 'just look like broccoli'. I tried to explain why I liked them...how they changed with the seasons and how handsome I thought even their final, rusty brown color was. There was no convincing her, alas, and I cannot describe her horror at realizing I had been propagating them, sticking stems in the ground all around the garden to create more and more plants! MWAHAHAHAHA! That may be my favorite thing about Sedum...just stick a piece in the ground and you will have more and more plants...there is something so exciting about propagating your own plants...knowing you are saving money! Plus, they are pretty :-)