There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing plants for a garden. If you've just started your collection, and you've got a tough and challenging site, choose some winter hardy succulents.
The trend these days is for less work and maintenance, beautiful lush gardens and containers.
How better to have both of those seemingly contradictory benefits in one package than with succulent plants.
Gardeners in cold climates don't have time to fuss with the beautiful and tender species that are popular right now; if you've got some of these, you know that they require special care for the winter to survive, and they can't take any frost whatsoever - not like these guys!
1. Sedum lydium is not a common type of stonecrop, but it's well worth finding.
Although shy to bloom, when it finally is happy enough, the pale pink to white flushed petals are spectacular in magnification.
Great as a tiny scale ground cover for miniature gardens, this is also a very pretty soft draping type for larger containers.
2. Jovibarba heuffelii is one of the most unusual of all the species of this Sempervivum relative. The crowns of the plants split into several new ones, eventually making a good sized colony.
As if that wasn't cool enough, it's also super tough; the deer around here like to take a bit out of the middle of the rosette, but in time it just makes new buds from the stocky caudex that turn into several rosettes.
3. Sempervivum arachnoideum hookeri, a tiny species that makes a perfect low ground cover or as a background on the panty hose wreaths that I make.
Eventually, this will cover a lot of ground, and it's got such an interesting texture too. In certain conditions, the foliage will blush pink and red - spectacular!
4. Rosularia are some of the sweetest and rarest of succulents. It's a surprise that they're as tough as they are, because they look fragile and tiny.
In my garden they thrive in droughty conditions and they will slowly increase into a good sized clump.
The flowers are generally white, but the shocking red flowers on the biennial Rosularia sempervivoides are unforgettable.
5. Sedum spurium varieties are some of the most reliable and toughest little red creeping stonecrops.
The flowers range from palest cream to deepest crimson, depending on the type.
They always surprise me with their ability to withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
6. There are so many different species of Jovibarba, and they're very mixed up in the trade, and as an added bonus, they hybridize between themselves very easily.
No matter, they're all supremely tough and very pretty too.
They also play well with others, never aggressive, although they will form a large colony of rollers in time.
Of course, this is just a sampling; each year, I get a different favorite as they adapt to my conditions, and start to show their true toughness.
If you haven't already signed up for the e-course about what to do to have the best success in overwintering the tender kinds of succulent plants, do it now: