Using succulents in the garden design
Okay, we touched briefly on some sedum in other topics, and a bit about cactus, but have not addressed succulent plants in general. Some of them are really tough and most are fire retardant as well. If our climate is going to continue to do rude things to our garden plans, maybe these are things to consider?
I happened to run across the delosperma cooperi (iceplant) on a CA wildflower site. It has a blazing fuchsia bloom that's much like the intense color seen on the beach cliffs of Southern CA, BUT it is also cold hardy. It doesn't seem to care if it gets hit with snow or ice, and can take extreme summer heat and very low water. I've tried it out in those conditions and had it survive just fine. it didn't spread as quickly as I'd have liked, but otherwise it was fine.
The ground cover sedum that I've had best success with is brevifolium, but it does not seem to be nearly as vigorous here as it was in CA. There, it could reach 6" high with regular water, and went creeping out into a gravel drive with zero care. I've seen it creep over big rocks where it had nothing but a thin coating of dust to cling to, and absolutely no water. Maybe I've just not given it time to really get established here. It also withstands snow and ice as well as it does intense heat. I've used it as a living mulch to shade the soil in a rose bed. The tiny hair-like roots don't seem to interfere with anything else.
The big sedums were never flashy for me as they are in the photos you see in the garden catalogs. They didn't do much at all, but I've never tried growing them here in OK. Autumn Joy was no joy at all when it came time to bloom. Does anyone have any recommendations for things they have tried?