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Step Aside Sedum Autumn Joy

Step Aside Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ The demand for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that provide three, if not four seasons of interest, has generated a surge of new Sedum cultivars that are taking center stage.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is probably the most well-known Sedum BUT this ‘king of the hill’ status is about to be toppled. I am a huge fan of the SunSparkler series introduced by Chris Hanson. As of last count there are six cool varieties in this line, a number of which I have in my garden. Any of these gems can be standouts in a mixed flower garden but imagine if you created an entire bed of these sassy succulents. Well, that is exactly what Chris and his amazing team did with an old gravel parking lot! Check out the photos and commentary on how this masterpiece evolved by clicking here. The before and after pictures will have you gasping.

Sedum, as well as other dazzling succulents including Hens and Chicks (Sempervivums); Agave (most are only hardy to zone 7 or warmer BUT Agave havardiana – pictured – is hardy to Zone 5); Ice Plant (Delosperma); and Eastern Prickly Pear cactus (Optunia ‘Compressa’), can be combined to produce eye-popping, weed-smothering, ground cover tapestries for hard to plant spaces. These also are wonderful container plants as well as lawn alternatives. It’s time to ‘think outside the box’, especially in view of climate change.(Agave photo compliments of Gardenia.com)