Thursday, September 17, 2009

Favorite fall flower ... Autumn Joy

Flower arrangement from my bridal shower featuring
Sedum, Hydrangea, Hostas and Bittersweet

Paniculata (or Peegee) Hydrangea at The Stevens Estate in
North Andover where we celebrated my 3oth birthday

Flowers often remind me of special events in my life. At this time of year, I look to my garden and remember the floral arrangements created for my bridal shower in October of 1996 (has it seriously been that long?). My aunt Evelyn (an event florist) chose flowers of the season to create stunning arrangements for each table.

I immediately fell in love with the showstoppers that she selected, especially Sedum “Autumn Joy
which lasts forever in an arrangement (an appropriate choice for a wedding shower, no?) Just seeing them in my garden today can transport me to a time when the promise of the future was in itself the greatest joy.

Autumn Joy pairs with Japanese Painted Fern and
Solomon’s Seal in my woodland perennial garden

Showy Stonecrop Sedum just about to blossom

The Sedum plant is as delicate as it is hardy (a perfect marriage!). It is drought tolerant, will not be offended if you forget to water it, and will cheerfully blossom for a good month or so. In my garden, it is the first flower growing in spring (with beautiful little green buds close to the earth) and the last flower blooming in autumn. Even in winter, the stalks that remain continue to make a design statement.

(I will post these same gardens after a snowfall ...
the effect is quite charming).

This trailing Sedum flows from a container
it happily shares with Wisteria vine

Sedum ... loved by bees and yours truly!

I am dedicating this post to designer Kim Smith who was a guest lecturer this week at the first yearly meeting of the Village Garden Club of Lynnfield. Her slide presentation showing gardens filled with native flowers, butterflies and bees truly inspired me to take a closer look at my own surroundings!

Photo by Kim Smith

To see nature through Kim’s eyes, visit her exhibit

“Beauty on the Wing: The Life Story
of the Monarch Butterfly”

showing now through September 30th
at the Matz Gallery of the
Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library
2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA

Admission is free and the show
runs through September 30th
with a special event on the 26th
at 10:30 am just for children.

Visit Kim’s website for
more event details.

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