Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Solstice and Sedums

My Moss Rose~ Summer Solstice will arrive June 20th this year amid global celebrations. The longest day of the year, Solstice occurs when both sunrise and sunset occur respectively at the earliest and the latest time during the year. This phenomenon has been noted for thousands of years as pagans celebrated the turning of the seasons. At noon the Sun will be in perfect balance directly overhead and your shadow may not be notable at all. Those who are in tune with nature will ‘feel’ the Solstice and childhood memories of cloud watching, gentle breezes, and a walk while listening to the drone of Cicadas may be recalled. Enjoy this long and memorable day from sunrise to sunset!

Sedums appear in every established garden and these no-fuss gems are sturdy and dependable. They appear in almost every imaginable shape and form from Aloe to Cacti with the only constant their plump water-filled leaves. There are over 400 species of Sedums and those unique fleshy leaves are their secret to survival as they store water for the plant to use during extremely dry spells. Needing only well drained soil and full sunlight, the Sedum is not susceptible to pests who are repelled by their stout leaves preferring more tender foliage, however butterflies and bees are abundant about the blooms.

Easy to propagate, simply break a leaf or stem from the Mother plant, shove it into a hole the size of an index finger, tamp the soil, lightly water for a week, and it will start a new plant. Part of this amazing club is the all time favorite Moss-rose, Purslane, or Portulaca, which are one in the same. They may have either thin spiky leaves or small rounded leaves and flowers open each day from about ten to four.

This low growing little plant will faithfully spread and flower from spring to frost. Purslane was first introduced by to the Northern Hemisphere by Dr. John Gillies in the 1820s and immediately became wildly popular. Gillies had discovered plants near the Argentine Pampas and wrote “they grew in great profusion, giving to the ground over which they were spread a rich purple hue, here and there marked with spots of an orange color“. Further scientific development gave us additional colors and today and this precious little flower is available in the entire spectrum of colors, with sweet traditional or darling double flowers. Its not too late to add some!