Dwarf evergreens bridge a seasonal
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We hit, says P.M., in recommending the addition of dwarf
conifers to a landscape full of perennials.
"I admired them all winter. When spring came and I might have
been down about the ragged interface between last year's perennial
debris giving way to this year's greenery, the color change and new
growth beginning on the conifers kept me smiling."
Below, right: Conifers are no slouches when it comes to
seasonal color change. When swelling new growth pushes off its bud
caps, this spruce that's already a beautiful blue, glows.
Below, and at top of page: Winter or summer, eastern white
pine has a luminosity that is fine to see. We've
occasionally heard people say "But weeping white pines look like
shaggy blobs." In that case we think you are not pruning them to suit your
taste. Perhaps you're clipping branches as they reach the
ground, as well. Don't hesitate to prune this fast-growing dwarf,
and do consider giving it room all around so it can develop a
Favorites of a conifer connoisseur
Two of our favorite people support us and many other gardeners
in sorting out dwarf conifers. Our Forum moderator Dennis Groh and his wife
Carole Groh maintain their own big conifer collection and work
through the American Conifer Society to help others learn about
Their own favorites? Weeping eastern white pine (above,
Pinus strobus pendula) and Alaska falsecypress
Right: Weeping Alaska false cypress
They said it
was a "dwarf" but it's 10' and just keeps growing!
Don't let the term "dwarf" mislead you. It's shorthand for
"Smaller than the species norm." So those in the know expect this
weeping Alaska false cypress to top out at about 30.' That
does make it a half-size dwarf compared to the average member of
its species, and gives it the rating "Large garden conifer." Visit
the website of the American Conifer
Society for what to expect from plants in four categories:
large, intermediate dwarf and miniature.