I've mentioned that I failed/made a big gardening mistake when it comes to conifers. The rule of: "Conifers Should Come First" is something that I wasn't aware of, until this Fall. That's when I went about a dizzy'ing spring of planting my own conifer garden IB2DWs. What's so great about conifers? Texture and structure are a couple of big reasons to believe in conifers. But, four-season gardening is (maybe?) the biggest for this Zone 5b (Now Zone 6a!!!) gardener. Everything around here goes dormant. Some perennials like hostas just totally disappear. Grasses hang around all Winter. Decidious trees go bare. But, conifers? They stand tall and proud during the Winter. This past week, we had our first real snow fall of the year. And, the dwarf conifer garden was a new highlight. Below are a few photos showing some of the conifers covered in snow:
Showing posts with the label conifer garden
Today marks me getting pretty close to the final conifer that I planted in my Fall Planting Spring of October 2023. It features a second (new) Bird's Nest Spruce (3rd overall with one in the back) and is planted in the new part of the Conifer Garden down by the sidewalk. Same story as the previous one - a dwarf, low-to-the-ground conifer that tolerates sun and - when established - is drought tolerant. This one is a 1# small shrub, like the others have been. I planted this in mid-October, but posting it in early November 2023.
What's something that is pretty common in gardens around here that I've lacked? Salvia. I've picked-up-and-put-down dozens of Salvias over the years. Why? Because I wasn't sure. Wasn't sure about anything Salvia-related. Size? Will they flop? Are they too tall? And more questions like that. But, when I found a couple of containers of May Night Salvia at the end-of-season sale at the orange store, I whipped out my phone. What did I find? From Monrovia : Tall spikes of indigo blue flowers top compact mounds of soft, green foliage. This showy perennial is excellent for mixed borders, flower beds and patio containers. From Walters Garden : This award winning salvia is a top performer in the landscape. Dense spikes of deep violet-purple flowers are produced in early summer and will continue longer if deadheaded. Bluestone Perennials says : 1997 PPA Plant of the YearOne of our favorite Salvia. Spikes of the deepest blue begin in late May and continue through th
A couple of seasons ago (Summer 2021), I planted three Allium Serendipity in the IB2DWs bed after being influenced by Erin the Impatient Gardener . I've had Allium Summer Beauty in the garden since the beginning and Serendipity felt like a nice improvement - at the time. I mostly just ignored them. Until this Summer. When I noticed that they were, indeed, an improvement over Summer Beauty. Why? They bloomed a little bit later. And for MUCH LONGER . Fall is the season for dividing perennials, so I picked up my shovel and got busy. Here's the before - two nice-sized clumps of Allium Serendipity: I took those two and made five total plants. Why five? A hedge, of course. I split one in two - in the hopes that those two larger clumps had a better chance of survival. If I killed the smaller clumps by dividing them too late, or not watering them in enough, or having them heave this Winter...at least I still had what I started with: two clumps. I put three of the Allium
Last Fall, I planted a singular cypress conifer called Lemon Thread False Cypress in the backyard by the Hornbeam trees . It has mostly just gotten along without much attention, so I decided to add something similar to the front yard - IB2DWs - Conifer Garden: a Golden Mop False Cypress. Chamaecyparis pisifera. They're similar...but I'm learning they're different in some ways. From Oregon State University, I'm seeing that Golden Mop is a 'true dwarf' : ‘Golden Mop’ - it is a mutation of ‘Filifera Aurea’ and a true dwarf, to 1 m, with more intense yellow. I've planted in a full sun, so I'm sure hoping that we get some of that 'intense yellow' and based on what I'm reading (below) in Midwest Garden Tips, I think we have a winner with Golden Mop. From MGT: The dramatic foliage of the ‘Golden Mop’ is bright yellow green with a feathery, almost stringy appearance. The glowing gold foliage creates a lovely accent to deeper green conifers.
I've long admired the Purple Smoke Trees that I see in gardens and landscapes. I've thought about planting one for a number of years, but each time I come across one, I opt against it. Until...this week. When I found a 'Royal Purple' Smoke Tree at the end-of-season sale at the orange big box store. It was too good of a price and I've been wanting to add some red to contrast the newly planted dwarf conifers in my new IB2DWs Conifer Garden. So, I bought it and stuck it in the ground closer to the sidewalk and pretty far back in the bed. You can see it in the photo below: Is this thing a tree? Or a shrub? It is referenced either way, but I'm calling it a tree - mostly due to the name. The tag says 'shrub', but... This becomes the last tree of 2023 and...amazingly...the 21st planted for the year. As for keeping score on a few fronts, let's first start with the Fall Planting Tally.
A week back, I shared photos and details of the first of three Baby Blue Spruce trees that have gone in our yard as part of my Fall Planting Sprint. They were all 7# container-grown trees and are small to start - somewhere shy of 24" tall from tip to rootflare. I planted the first one in my new Conifer Garden - IB2DWs extended. And, I matched it with the second one on the other end of that spread. See below for a look at #2 Baby Blue. This is planted closer to the Bald Cypress. And...it is planted 'high' on purpose. As for keeping score on a few fronts, let's first start with the Fall Planting Tally.
Upright evergreen tree. Those are magic words to me. When I came across a new (to me) conifer tree named Montrose Charm, I pulled out my phone and dug around. Trying to figure out if this would work in my new conifer garden IB2DWs extended. After some hemming-and-hawing, I brought it home and planted it along the back border, sort of next-to the Ginkgo tree that is up there . Here it is post-planting. The Montrose Charm is a "Christmas Tree Form", but gets tall and skinny - with time. From Dutchman Tree Farms - they expect the tree to get six feet wide at maturity and have this to say : This tall narrow columnar tree has needles that are light green and very short. The White Spruce ‘Montrose Charm’, once established, is cold hardy and drought resistant. This columnar tree is perfect for landscaping, borders, small spaces, and erosion control. I've said it before, but I love that narrow, columnar tree form. Here's a look at a mature version of the Montrose Charm