Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Joy

Today is the first day of Autumn. It still looks and feels like summer, the grass and trees are still green, the flowers are blooming, the sun is warm.

The seasons are changing though. One sign that fall is here comes from my Autumn Joy Sedum. As fall approaches, the flower starts to turn a pale pink, then a beautiful deep dusky pink and eventually to a deep burgundy copper in very late fall. When most other plants are winding down, Autumn Joy Sedum is ramping up.
During the summer it has a succulent foliage and the flowers are green; my kids used to think it was broccoli. It's a very common plant but I love it, as do bees and butterflies. It is also virtually indestructible, doesn't require watering, and is easy to propagate. A cutting can be put into a glass of water to root and then planted; even easier, a broken stem can be put directly into the soil and watered and it will grow. I think there is something satisfying about seeing those little roots grow out of the cutting so I prefer to it that way. Autumn Joy is a perennial, meaning it comes back every year. Mine have been coming back reliably for many years. I don't cut them back for the winter either. I leave them in the garden for birds to perch.

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