Front Yard Conifer Combo Inspiration - Blue Needles and Purple Perennials - January 2024

Yesterday, I created and published a lengthy - and winding - post about a potential front-yard garden transformation that is anchored in conifers and contains a potential 'path' through the middle.  In that post, I talked about using a berm in part to create some elevation change and I also sort-of came to the conclusion that I would certainly NEED to start in phases as the project is a multi-year planting (at least for me).  In that post, I concluded that based on some inspiration, I could (in theory) start down by the sidewalk with a small bed and expand from there.  

One of the dependencies is the creation of the berm and the location for said berm.  My current thinking is that the berm is created if-and-only-if, I do some excavation for the pizza oven.  I would haul the material that I excavated from the back out to the front and build up a little berm on the driveway side of the front yard, down near the sidewalk. 

I bring this all up, because I recently came across a photo on Conifer Kingdom that I wanted to save down to my front-yard inspiration collection.  I've pasted it below - this is NOT my photo, rather the source of the photo is here - and it features a trio of pyramidal blue-needled conifers interplanted with some purple perennials that sure look like Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' (which I planted my first two this Fall).   The conifers in this photo are listed by Conifer Kingdom as Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ Rocky Mountain - which are zone 4 hardy (that's good), have a pyramidal habit (nice) and are described as being "exceptionally blue" (love that).   They're backed by something more gold (like a Forever Goldie Arborvitae) in the photo below:

Mixed blue conifers with purple perennials

This image above is NOT my photo.  It is via Conifer Kingdom.  Source

Wichita Blue Junipers aren't something that I have come across locally, but we *do* have a couple of blue junipers on the property:  I planted a pair of very small Blue Star Junipers last Fall

I could see this design treatment used in the front yard - but I'd rotate it to have a presence on the driveway-side, too.   The mix of blue conifers and purple perennials has a nice feel to it and is pleasing to my eye.  

I'd like to think that I've learned my lesson in terms of plantings and that I now *know* that conifers should come first.  Even though my perennial brain has already moved towards "I can buy those Stachys monieris at Northwind and get them in right away" mode.  It needs to be:  secure the blue conifers first, Jake. 

Despite not coming across Witchita Blues, what have I seen locally at the big box nurseries?  Below are a few conifers:  Blue Arrow Junipers, a Limeglow Juniper and a Pencil Point Juniper.  

Blue Arrow Juniper Needles

Limeglow Juniper
Limeglow Juniper
Pencil Point Juniper

Pencil Point Juniper

If I come across the Limeglow Juniper again this year, I'll grab one (at least) for up front.  Blue Arrows might work just fine, but they'll require some pruning to keep them in check.   That combination of blue conifers with chartreuse low-ground-spreading ones feels right to me.

What else would go in this "Phase 1"?   That's something that I'll work through tomorrow. 


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