Going for Gold

A haze of gold wraps around these rustic metal spheres.

A golden carpet cushions these rustic metal spheres. Design credit; Claudia & Jonathan Fast/Land2c Landscape Design

There are certain plants I find myself using time and again for both containers and landscape designs – those that I’ve found reliable, winter hardy and usually inexpensive. Angelina stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’) is one of the very best and wins my vote for a gold star.

It is hardy in zones 3-11 (not many plants we can say THAT about!), evergreen and drought tolerant. You want more? Break a piece off, throw it on the ground and it will grow. Honestly. I have big clumps of it growing in gravel near my greenhouse where I must have inadvertently brushed against a plant.

If the bright gold isn’t enough color just wait a few months. In northern areas (ie. for us) it turns orange in winter and is more of a chartreuse during the spring too. Growing to just 3-6″ tall it is ideal for containers where it will drape over the sides, or as a groundcover in the landscape.

The only disadvantage? The deer have NO sense of good design and frequently pick mine up and spit them out in other parts of the garden.

Here are some ideas on combinations to try;


Contemporary flair with foliage

Contemporary flair with foliage

Keep it simple with succulents, grasses and conifers; let the foliage textures set the style. When containers are short Angelina is perfect for softening the edges without trailing on the ground.

Color punch

Color punch

Add zing to your pots by pairing it with other bold colors such as the Bonfire begonia – a great sun tolerant annual for us.

It only needs a little

It only needs a little

You don’t need a lot – just this little splash of gold echoes the pansy and brightens the design.

For the squish factor

For the squish factor

This container is freshly planted but still looks good in its early stages thanks to all the great foliage – including Angelina which is playing off the Canna and sweet potato vine.

In the landscape

Brighten a shady path

Brighten a shady path; Design credit; Claudia & Jonathan Fast/Land2c landscape design

The bright color really catches your eye so is a great way to entice visitors to explore a side path. Although it prefers full sun Angelina will also take partial shade where it will be a little more chartreuse. There is another great landscape idea in our book on pages 54-55; Rhythm ‘n Blues where it as been used to edge a long border very effectively.

For winter interest

Copy of July 2011 Peace Tree Farm 211

Need I say more?

Well actually I will. Christina and I do have awards on our mind right now because ….

FINE FOLIAGE has been recognized by the Garden Writer’s Association with a Silver Award of Achievement.

We’re thrilled!14-silver-logo

So we know which book you consider an award winner, but which foliage plant gets your vote for gold?

Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. We love to hear from you.

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12 thoughts on “Going for Gold

  1. Debra

    Really just love your combinations, thank you for your great suggestions and information. Happy to see you rewarded with the star.

  2. Alison

    Congrats on the award, your book deserves it, it’s one of my faves. I love Sedum ‘Angelina’ too. I have several new clumps of it along the top of my recycled concrete wall. I can’t wait to see how it looks when it settles in. The shot of the path is fabulous.

    1. Karen Chapman Post author

      Thank you so much Alison – from both of us and on both accounts. Be sure to post photos of your wall on our FB page – we’d love to see it

  3. Laine

    I think it is funny that the Angelina sedum is patented since it definitely propagates itself.

  4. meander1

    I share your enthusiasm for the wide range of uses for this particular sedum and your pictures showing off its charms are great. Have you tried the variety called ‘Lemon Ball’ which is supposed to hold the chartreusy tones even through the winter?

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