gbq&a…and a vase

Well, I’m a pretty lame excuse for a meme master. I started out with the intent of posing a question on the first Friday of every month and inviting others to write a questioning post to link here so we could all answer one another’s questions and grow our knowledge. I let last month slide and it is now a few days past the first Friday, but what the hey. Since “better late than never” is my motto (admittedly by necessity) here goes: my question this month is regarding Ozothamnus ‘Sussex Silver’.

Ozothammus 'Sussex Silver'

Ozothammus ‘Sussex Silver’

Here it is earlier in the season, in bloom, looking pretty. Richard did what I call a brutal job of pruning last year. It has been in the ground since ’09.


It was the fine curtain of silvery foliage that attracted me to this plant in the first place.


As the flowers fade, they turn into these brown blobs. All the shiny new foliage grows beyond the unsightly mass. So here’s my question: does anyone have this plant and, if so, how do you deal with it?


And now for something completely different. My vase this week started with a single stem of Sedum ‘Cherry Truffle’. I have it growing in a pot with some Dusty Miller (don’t ask which of the many plants that get that catchall name) and I knew I wanted to keep that color combo going.


The Hydrangea ‘Prezioza’ has been turning various shades of dusky purple. I cut two of the deepest plum flower heads. They are dense enough to support the taller stems without needing a flower frog.


A few shorter stems of Sedum ‘Bertram Anderson’ and Artemesia ‘Valerie Finnis’ and I was done.


Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) never fails to put together a stunning vase from materials gathered from her own garden every Monday. She invites you to join in. Please do…or simply browse for inspiration.

28 thoughts on “gbq&a…and a vase

  1. I have one ! I pruned mine last winter. All I did was to cut out all the dead stuff from the main trunk. Mine has no blooms, but I would probably cut the offending spent blooms away , hoping all will be well and it will grow back ?

  2. Hope you find answers for your Ozothamnus issue. I’m not familiar with it. Your vase is stunning with that silver and burgundy combination. I love your Hydrangea ‘Prezioza’–such a nice rich color.

  3. I really enjoyed your vase–the combinations of colors and forms is so unique! Regarding the Ozothammus: I don’t have any experiences with it. Is there possibly a similar-height or taller plant you could plant next to it that could cover it up when it browns? Or maybe you could trim off the seedheads (unless you want to retain them for the birds)?

  4. The Sedums are so nicely bloomed out, and look great with the silvery foliage, but the part I enjoy most is the Hydrangea, such a lovely dark color. I’m enamoured with the new (to me) blooming Sedum varieties at nurseries, especially the dark colors. I haven’t grown Sussex Silver, but one online guide says to cut it back every year to 18″ or so. I have problems with overgrown plants that sprawl and a lot of them do well with renewal pruning, so I check for which ones like it.

  5. No idea about the Ozothamnus, but jeez Ricki – that arrangement is scrumptious! I can’t believe the color of that Hydrangea. You are indeed my sister on the Dark Side…

  6. It seems that lots of silvery drought tolerant plants have flowers that look awful as they die. If the plant flowers on new wood (growth), I’d cut out the spent stems as soon as it finishes flowering. Just love the silver and purple of your vase this week, it is a combination that is just beginning in my garden too.

  7. Cherry Truffle! What a delightfully enticing name for the lovely sedum and it sits so well with that dark hydrangea and the silvery leaves. Thanks for sharing, rickii

  8. I’ve no experience with Ozthamnus so the only comment I have is that, when flowers become brown blobs, I usually cut the plant foliage back as far as I can without damaging its viability. I have been warned to avoid severe pruning of some Australian plants; however, it looks as though yours recovered nicely from the severe pruning your husband gave it. As to your vase, it’s beautiful – I wish my Sedum looked anything near as good.

    As a contribution to your meme, I’ve just linked a post to you:

    • Woo hoo an actual participant in the spirit of GBQ&A. Your question looks like one that will spark deep discussion. I hope everyone will click through and get involved. Thanks for taking part.

  9. Love your vase, Rickii. I mean, I would love to enjoy that on my own dining room table. Your dark violet red and silver scheme is just filled with dark drama and beauty! The Hydrangea you’ve used reminds me of an ivy geranium I’m growing this summer. The plant looks scraggly in the incessant heat and sun… but the blossoms are luscious, like your Hydrangea. You’ve got a winning idea for a monthly meme, Rickii, but I’ve no experience growing your O. ‘Sussex Silver .’ I would be tempted to prune to keep it from ever flowering; like a properly managed Basil 😉 You’ve outdone yourself here- and have inspired me to pair more silver plants near red ones <3

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