Their strong, round shape makes them well suited to combining with plants revealing linear foliage form, such as grasses and clumping, strappy-leafed plants. Or you may prefer to grow them with loose plants that razzle dazzle and bring a lively contrast to their somewhat stolid form. Perfect here would be the fast-growing, pink-flowering gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’) or drifts of the enigmatic chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus), with its glistening dark maroon flowers providing a fascinating contrast to softer pinks of the sedums.
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Add to this mix the purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurea), with purple daisy flower heads creating a dramatic layered effect at about 1m high. Much taller, and worth including, is the pinky purple flowering Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), complementing the symphony of pinks for which sedum can be the main theme. Add to the sense of theatre with flowing grasses, such as some modestly scaled Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus1 or the deeply coloured purple fountain grass (Pennisetum advena ‘Rubrum’), to contrast with the more stolid sedums.
Getting back down nearer the level of the sedums themselves, try geraniums such as Geranium endressii. This boasts pale, magenta-pink flowers, and typical geranium foliage – a notable contrast to the form of sedums. G. maderense is breathtakingly beautiful both in foliage and flower, and its silvery appearance is a great foil for sedums. Talking of silver foils, Artemisia canescens is one of the very best silver-leafed plants, and it produces incredibly fine linear foliage that is perfect for softening an edge at the front of sunny borders.
For more colour at the front, consider thrift (Armeria maritima), a tough little perennial that comes in a range of colours that complement sedums. When it comes to linear contrasts, there are many that fit this bill. I rather enjoy seeing sedums clustered around the up-thrusting silvery grey leaves of Yucca recurvifolia, which also offers attractive spikes of waxy white bell flowers that grow to about 2m tall.