The joy of autumn
I am grateful to all the beekeepers who recommended Autumn Joy sedum for my bees. I was reluctant to buy it once I found it at the garden center because, honestly, it was the ugliest plant I’ve ever seen.
Truth is, I’ve had a bad attitude toward any kind of succulent plant ever since I lived for a few years in a rented house in San Diego County. It had a postage-stamp backyard where nothing would grow except what the locals called “ice plant.” I don’t even know what that means, but it was awful. I like real plants, with real leaves, but this stuff was heavy, nondescript, and watery.
Perhaps it wasn’t the ice plant I disliked so much. It could have been the house or my job, but I couldn’t wait to leave that place and all the godforsaken succulents that grew there. Once I moved back to Washington, I never gave succulents a second thought until the day I scanned the local garden center, twenty-some years later, looking for Autumn Joy, which I knew nothing about.
Once I arrived home with it (six its), my husband said, “What ‘s that? It looks deserty.”
“I’m taking advice from my readers,” I said, and he rolled his eyes.
You see, I wasn’t the only one with negative thoughts about deserty plants. In southern California, we had multiple run-ins with the landlord about cactus pads and whether they had been “strewn about” or “carefully placed” in the garden. It is a long and convoluted story having to do with the neighbor’s swimming pool, lollypop trees, and gray water recycling. But I digress.
I dutifully planted the Autumn Joys, they grew, and now they’ve bloomed. And just as you predicted, my honey bees love them. Each bloom is covered with bees, weighted down with bees, and I can hear the bees from within the house, joyfully sipping their autumn treat. So once again, thank you all so much!