There are some plants which make an immediate impression; often it’s the colour or the sheer exuberance of the flowers, but sometimes it’s just because the plant in question is so different.
And that’s the case with Sempervivums, the hardy, succulent, alpine plants that grow in the wild between rocks in mountainous regions but which have found a happy home in many an English garden where they seem impervious to everything the climate, the soil, or even the gardener can throw at them.
Sempervivum means ‘always alive’ – a reference to the fact that houseleeks can tolerate extreme temperatures and drought. These are very special little plants.
Just about anywhere a plant can grow, a houseleek can grow.
But as with all plants, houseleeks flourish when they are planted in areas and conditions which they prefer. So, plenty of sun and a well-drained soil suits them down to the ground – which is appropriate because most Sempervivums stick close to the ground.