Sedum Come, Sedum Grow
Heat may not love plants, but if there’s one family of plants that truly loves heat, it’s Sedum. Sometimes referred to as stonecrop, Sedum are a succulent with over 500 species and thousands of varieties. Most gardeners are used to the occasional succulent in their garden that may or may not survive the winter, but a game changer for me was discovering Sedum mats or blankets.
Sedum matting is a mix of pre grown plants of about the same size that are grown in flats. Similar to sod in a way, except the surface is a wonderful variety of shapes and colors. The plants selected for matts are designed to be very low maintenance, and survive cold winters. All you need is a sunny spot, and you are in business. You can cut the matts to any shape, so you can turn a drab or dead area into a striking garden. Simply put some stones in place, then cut the matts to fit around the stones. I have a client with a small front yard that opted for rocks and Sedum instead of grass, and they are constantly getting compliments from their neighbors. Low maintenance, beautiful and unusual, now that’s my kind of garden.
Sedum mats or blankets were originally developed for use on green roof systems, so they were designed to be bulletproof. A green roof is part or all of a building’s roof that is covered with vegetation, generally on top of a growing medium, which is on top of a waterproof membrane. The results can be a beautiful alternative to standard roofing materials, and provide better temperature and noise insulation while helping lower stormwater runoff and absorbing carbon from the air. I’m not quite ready to swap my slate for Sedum, but I am considering giving it a try on my chicken coop. If I get that far, I’ll share some pictures.