Ornamental Conifers

  • Thuja occidentalis 'Konfetti' in August

(Revised 5 Jan 2016)
The beauty of conifers is not showy to the point of static like annuals. They have the wholesome, stately and subtle elegance that sets them apart from perennials and maples (of course in the eyes of the beholder). For people who have not played with conifers, all conifers may look more or less the same to them. Growing conifers can be addictive. Be warned that entry into the conifer world can be a one way street of no return.
Growing conifers in a garden, one inevitably, has to face a common dilemma: the appropriate allowances to be made for their size changes over time. Few gardeners can afford to acquire only fully mature conifer specimen for their gardens. There is no ideal solution. More than likely, if a gardener keep his/her garden long enough, there will be transplanting and/or removal, even if you stick to only ‘dwarf conifers’. Except for conifer addicts who can be happy with lots of empty spaces between their conifers for a number of years, companion planting using other plant materials such as perennials etc. can be important. Growing conifers typically requires relatively less maintenance efforts than growing perennials, or common deciduous shrubs.
It should be noted that the identifications and cultivar labeling of conifers are highly error prone, inconsistent and messy in the conifer trade. My primary interest is to enjoy the ornamental characteristics of my conifers, and have no choice but to live with many incorrect labels; (sorting out the absolute accuracy of their identity is not always possible even among some experts). I would appreciate any correction feedback from experts out there.
The size, growth rate and hardiness of conifers can vary widely depending on local conditions. Information derived from highly reliable books and internet sources can only be used as general guides.

I have organized the photos of my little conifer collection into sub-pages, and you can navigate to them via the menu listed in the sidebar to the right.

Abies concolor 'Blue Cloak'

Abies concolor ‘Blue Cloak’


Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke'

Abies koreana ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’


Abies balsamea 'Eugene's Gold'

Abies balsamea ‘Eugene’s Gold’


Cedrus deodara 'Eiswinter'

Cedrus deodara ‘Eiswinter’


Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Golden Oji'

Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Golden Oji’


Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow'

Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Sparkling Arrow’


Thuja occidentalis 'Filiformis', Larix kaempferi 'Pendula', etc.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Filiformis’, Larix kaempferi ‘Pendula’, etc.


Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'North Light'

Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘North Light’


Larix kaempferi fall colour

Larix kaempferi fall colour


Picea pungens 'Spring Ghost'

Picea pungens ‘Spring Ghost’


Platycladus orientalis 'Marjolein'

Platycladus orientalis ‘Marjolein’


Pinus sylvestris 'Wolting's Gold'

Pinus sylvestris ‘Wolting’s Gold’


Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns'

Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’


Picea orientalis 'Lemon Spreader'

Picea orientalis ‘Lemon Spreader’

(Revised 17 Dec 2013)
The beauty of conifers is not showy to the point of static like annuals. They have the wholesome, stately and subtle elegance that sets them apart from perennials and maples (of course in the eyes of the beholder). For people who have not played with conifers, all conifers may look more or less the same to them. Growing conifers can be addictive. Be warned that entry into the conifer world can be a one way street of no return.
It should be noted that the identifications and cultivar labeling of conifers are highly error prone, inconsistent and messy in the conifer trade. My primary interest is to enjoy the ornamental characteristics of my conifers, and have no choice but to live with many incorrect labels; (sorting out the absolute accuracy of their identity is not always possible even among some experts). I would appreciate any correction feedback from experts out there.

The size, growth rate and hardiness of conifers can vary widely depending on local conditions. Information derived from highly reliable books and internet sources can only be used as general guides.

I have organized the photos of my little conifer collection into sub-pages, and you can navigate to them via the menu listed in the sidebar to the right.

2 comments


  1. Betty
    February 12, 2016 | 10:25 pm
    Reply

    Thank you. Loved looking at these on a below zero
    evening. My problem is “deer”. Do you have any
    idea if any of these are resistant?


    • garcan
      February 13, 2016 | 11:03 am
      Reply

      Indeed, garden pictures make a cold winter a lot more bearable.
      I believe deer would eat almost any type of plant when they are hungry enough. However, I notice that, at our cottage, they seemed to leave Abies balsamea, and Picea abies and glauca alone, but ate my Pinus sylvestris and strobus, Taxus etc. You might be able to improve your odd by putting a small wire fence around each conifer in winter months.

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