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Garden journal entry


August 24, 2014. I saw Sedum telephium 'Red Cauli' featured prominently in a magazine article on garden designer Piet Oudolf years ago. I don't often get cases of plant lust, but for some reason I decided I'd really like to grow that plant. It took a bit of searching to find a source, but a little while later, I had my own small mail-order 'Red Cauli' growing in the garden. After its original location proved unsuitable, it has made its home in our 'rock garden annex', between the front walkway and the driveway, so it has quite a prominent position. But for years, it just didn't seem to live up to my expectations. The flowers in fall were nice enough, the burgundy stems did their thing – but it just didn't have that wow presence I was hoping for, based on Piet Oudolf's gardens. Finally, this year, the magic seems to be in place. The flowers are richer in color, the foliage has held up nicely – but perhaps most importantly, its neighbors, through no particular design on my part, complement the sedum nicely this August. When the liatris was blooming purple a few weeks ago, it looked good with the sedum flowers as they were just starting to open in a duller shade of purple. By now, the liatris is done but its spent flowerstalk still goes nicely with Red Cauli's flower, which has taken on a much richer shade of reddish pink. Add in the interesting seedheads on the alliums, and the frilly pink flowers of a late-blooming dianthus, and I finally have a tiny little vignette that reminds me why I took to the plant so much when I first glimpsed its picture all those years ago.

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