All Posts   Posted:   January 26, 2017 by Nicole Forbes - Education

We often overlook conifers when selecting landscape plants; they don’t seduce us with colorful blooms or brilliant fall foliage. However, it is their structure and consistency in the garden that gives us something to look at in winter and provides a backdrop or canvass for our seasonal plants.

This winter has given us all opportunity to evaluate our landscape in regards to winter interest as many of our plants have gone dormant for the season. Hardy conifers come in many shapes and sizes and often have colorful new growth that adds subtle beauty along with texture and structure. There are countless applications for using conifers in garden design and almost an endless selection of plants to choose from. There are a few deciduous conifers (those that drop their needles in winter); however, most are evergreen and quite cold-hardy for our zone.

Conifers for containers are often slow-growing and/or dwarf so they can be enjoyed for many years. They can be combined with hardy perennials and evergreen grasses for a lovely winter effect. A few varieties we really like to use in containers include Melody Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Melody’), Silver Pearl Korean Fir (Abies koreana ‘Silberperle’), and Tansu Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’).

Slow-growing, compact, dwarf conifers are also excellent when used in rock gardens. Their low-profile and drought tolerance make them perfect companions to common rockery plants such as sedums/succulents and creeping phlox. Piccolo Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea ‘Piccolo’), Blue Eskimo Korean Fir (Abies koreana ‘Blauer Eskimo’), and Mother Lode Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Mother Lode’) are a few examples of plants that are sure to be striking additions to your rock garden.

As accents or specimens, stately conifers are a sure bet. Selections and growth rates vary from one plant to the next but it is common for specimen plants to grow faster than those used for containers or rockeries. Tyler Blue Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea ‘Tyler Blue’) has distinctive blue foliage that stands out in the landscape while Firefly Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’) has bright yellow needles that light up the garden with 12 months of color and Granny’s Ringlets Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis’) has light green needles that spiral around thick branchlets forming twisted ropes of ringlet-like foliage.

Our garden centers have recently received fresh shipments of conifers from Iseli Nursery as well as other local suppliers. Now is a great time to assess the garden and plan for a few changes; stop in to one of our stores to browse our newly arrived inventory while our selection is best. Our expert staff and professional designers are always available to inspire you and show off some of our favorite plants.

We often overlook conifers when selecting landscape plants; they don’t seduce us with colorful blooms or brilliant fall foliage. However, it is their structure and consistency in the garden that gives us something to look at in winter and provides a backdrop or canvass for our seasonal plants.

This winter has given us all opportunity to evaluate our landscape in regards to winter interest as many of our plants have gone dormant for the season. Hardy conifers come in many shapes and sizes and often have colorful new growth that adds subtle beauty along with texture and structure. There are countless applications for using conifers in garden design and almost an endless selection of plants to choose from. There are a few deciduous conifers (those that drop their needles in winter); however, most are evergreen and quite cold-hardy for our zone.

Conifers for containers are often slow-growing and/or dwarf so they can be enjoyed for many years. They can be combined with hardy perennials and evergreen grasses for a lovely winter effect. A few varieties we really like to use in containers include Melody Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Melody’), Silver Pearl Korean Fir (Abies koreana ‘Silberperle’), and Tansu Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’).

Slow-growing, compact, dwarf conifers are also excellent when used in rock gardens. Their low-profile and drought tolerance make them perfect companions to common rockery plants such as sedums/succulents and creeping phlox. Piccolo Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea ‘Piccolo’), Blue Eskimo Korean Fir (Abies koreana ‘Blauer Eskimo’), and Mother Lode Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Mother Lode’) are a few examples of plants that are sure to be striking additions to your rock garden.

As accents or specimens, stately conifers are a sure bet. Selections and growth rates vary from one plant to the next but it is common for specimen plants to grow faster than those used for containers or rockeries. Tyler Blue Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea ‘Tyler Blue’) has distinctive blue foliage that stands out in the landscape while Firefly Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’) has bright yellow needles that light up the garden with 12 months of color and Granny’s Ringlets Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis’) has light green needles that spiral around thick branchlets forming twisted ropes of ringlet-like foliage.

Our garden centers have recently received fresh shipments of conifers from Iseli Nursery as well as other local suppliers. Now is a great time to assess the garden and plan for a few changes; stop in to one of our stores to browse our newly arrived inventory while our selection is best. Our expert staff and professional designers are always available to inspire you and show off some of our favorite plants.