Some or our most colorful groundcovers have really shined this winter at Powell Gardens. They are all sedums: tough succulent perennials from various parts of the world. The picture depicts sweeps of three varieties in the Dwarf Conifer Garden: Angelina Sedum (Sedum rupestre) on top, Weihenstephaner Gold Sedum (Sedum floriferum) in the middle (it is named after its golden yellow flowers!), and Blue Spruce Sedum (S. reflexum) on the bottom. I think these three varieties represent the best of the easy landscape sedums for our climate and the best in winter gold, winter red and winter blue foliage color. They all require full sun (or only part shade) and good drainage.
Angelina Sedum is a wonderful blend of oranges and rose pinks beyond its overall gold color. This picture shows it paired with silvery-leaved lavender (snuggled in cut redcedar bows for winter protection) and Vintage Gold Chamaecyparis in the upper right corner. This tapestry of winter plants can be seen in the Fountain Garden.
Angelina Sedum shown in closeup detail. This sedum turns brilliant chartreuse yellow-green in spring and remains that color until cold weather returns in autumn. It is at its most beautiful in winter!
Blue Spruce Sedum is overall dusty silvery-blue but can have lovely tints of rose or lavender in winter.
Voodoo Sedum (Sedum spurium) is one of the best for red foliage color but does not make as nice of solid mat as 'Weihenstephaner Gold' in the first image. It is great for the edge of a bed or spilling over a wall as shown here on the edge of the dwarf conifer garden. Sprigs of Blue Spruce and Angelina sedum set it off nicely.
Jelly Beans Sedum (Sedum album) makes a wonderful true green sedum for edging and rock walls. Here it grows between Angelina Sedum and the rock wall on the Island Garden. Its winter, green succulent leaves are very tiny in winter.
Blue Carpet Sedum (Sedum dasyphyllum) makes a soft blue-green carpet for areas that have afternoon shade. Here it can be seen as a groundcover in beds just before you cross the bridge onto the Island Garden. Don't forget the sedums when designing and adding to your garden for 2008. They provide marvelous color and texture in the often dreary winter landscape. They all are wonderfully drought tolerant too. All of the sedums shown here will be at Powell Gardens' Spring Plant Sale the first weekend in May.
All photos taken by Alan Branhagen on January 9, 2008, at Powell Gardens