Saturday Sedum Watch at the Lost Madrone Ranch: April 1


It’s week 5 of watching wild sedums at the Lost Madrone Ranch in Comfort, Texas, and I am shocked by the change at the ranch from one week ago.

As I drove through the gate and proceeded along the one-mile road to the house, my eyes blinked; my jaw dropped; I gasped. Like magic, “Greenery” — the Pantone Color of the Year on full display at the ranch just seven days ago — had all but disappeared.

(Read about “Greenery” in the March 25th Saturday Sedum Watch post. Other sedum postings are March 4, March 11, and March 18.)

Sure, I could still find color chips of Greenery here or there, but a sweeping gaze across the hills presented a new shade of green — a dark, rich, emerald green — the green of summer to come.


Compare a few pictures from last week’s Saturday Sedum Watch to pictures of how the ranch looks this week.

Below is a picture of the gorge by the “saddle road”  — named because the road dips in the shape of a saddle — from last week’s post.


Here is the gorge by the “saddle road” this week.


Below is a view toward the front gate last week.


Here is a picture looking toward the front gate this week (I took the picture below while standing on the road shown above, so the view is zoomed in closer).


I couldn’t wait to arrive at the house and walk to where the sedums are growing.

More magic.

The ruby red and rosy pink sedums had also disappeared — the patches of red replaced by a solid mat of green-colored sedums.


The penny perspective we have studied each week shows the tiny sedums making their way further off the ground.



Even where the soil is shallow and the succulents are still short, their red color is giving way to a solid green color.


Yesterday morning, when I was taking the final photographs before heading back to San Antonio for a meeting, I was down on the ground aiming my camera across a mat of sedums.  I noticed one little clump of sedums rising higher than all the other sedums around it.


I laughed because I was heading to a meeting with my friend Marline, who at 6′ 2″ shares a similar vantage point of rising above the rest of us.


I’m naming this sedum “Marline.”


Each week, since starting the Saturday Sedum Watch, I enjoy examining the range of colors found in the sedums, but this week the site where the sedums are growing appears monotone.


Still, the depth of green on the trees is an amazing change from a week ago.


With all the green surrounding me, I was motivated to get planting. We had two freezes this winter and one of them hit my potted succulents hard, so I decided to start my spring cleanup with my container plants.

I collected the containers from the ranch porches, set up a table under the front mott of cedar elms, and went to work.


When was the last time you potted a plant? If it’s been a while, put it on your list.

There is something rhythmic in potting plants. It is not the backbreaking work of gardening, yet you still get your hands in the dirt and experience a connection with nature.

The movements are small — selecting the plant specimen, shifting the soil in the container, making room to place the plant where you want it, nestling the plants in among new friends while thinking how they will grow together, covering the roots, leveling out the top layer of soil, and patting the dirt down so the plants are all tucked in for a comfortable stay.

Planting is an act of nurturing that nurtures you back — similar to caregiving for children or elder parents.

The closeness of planting requires focus on the task, and at the same time it clears your thoughts, puts you in touch with your senses, and sets you up to be present.

This succulent did not survive the freeze, but it gave an oddly pretty display for the remainder of the winter months.


The new plant looks more fitting for spring.


Below, this picture shows another casualty of the freeze, but I think this sedum will survive. I’m adding a blue fescue to the container. Obviously, a fescue is not a sedum or succulent, but this fescue has a nickname of “Boulder Blue,” so I’ve had one of these on the front porch since Alexandra headed to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Thoughts of her greet me when I arrive at the house.



The pots below came from my favorite gift shop in San Antonio, The Tiny Finch. I love the slanted openings.


A pop of orange is one of my favorite colors to add to my mostly neutral decorating scheme at the ranch.


With the containers filled with new life, I placed them back in their spots. At every walk around the houses, they greet me and make me smile.

Here is my Boulder Blue at the front porch.


Look closer!


This lizard posed for a good 5 minutes!


These plants share the front porch for now, but I’m not sure where they will spend the summer.


This happy planting sits at the other end of the front porch on a “tabletop” picked up on the ranch.


Another happy greeting at a side entrance.




The back porch is a happier place with little containers of plants.


Notice my CU Buffaloes rock below. Go Buffs!


And finally, why not transplant some of the wild Sedum, nanifolium?


The wild sedums fit in perfectly with the succulents from the garden store.


Happy Saturday! Are you headed to the garden store by chance?

11 thoughts on “Saturday Sedum Watch at the Lost Madrone Ranch: April 1

  1. Happy Saturday Karen. Again amazed by how you take me with your brilliant writing to your back porch on the Ranch.. luv you cousin.


  2. I am so lucky to be a Sedum for real! They are excellent – until someone steps on them – but of course I will have the best vantage point than all the rest! Everything you have written is amazing – from the heart, and directed at life’s observations…from sedums, to inner thoughts, to your mother. Most of the world never knows to look at life as you do. Thank you for allowing your friends the opportunity to walk your journey with you.


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