Conifer Garden!
GFSD-Garden of winter interest!

Cast of Characters-Conifer Garden aka GFSD

High 69.5 F
Low  40.5 F

So far, there are seventeen different species of trees and shrubs in the new conifer garden.  It will not be strictly conifers but they will provide the backbone and shape of the garden. I will be adding some grasses and maybe some textural perennials.  Many years ago I visited the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plains, MA.  At that time, the visitors center was located in an old building and behind it there were several large Ilex pedunculosa, Longstalk holly.  These were at least thirty feet high with a dense habit and shiny, oval leaves about 3" long.  The plant caught  and reflected light with a lustrous shimmer.  I have since coveted this holly so it was an obvious choice for the shrub border. Dsc_0013 As you can see it is not a conifer but it is evergreen and it does require both male and female plants for pollination and subsequent berries.  I have put in three, one male sited upwind from the two females.  The male is tighter in habit but I think with age they will become indistinguishable except for the berries.

Next in this border, I have added a Disanthus cercidifolius which is a member of the Hamamelidaceae family and is native to Japan. Dsc_0017 As you can see, the leaves are similar to the Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis.  The flowers are incidental and the shrub becomes broad and spreading.  This is a shrub with great fall color and interesting foliage.  Also, it is underused in our landscapes so I felt it deserved a place in the border. 

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Crippsi'

This will grow to be a fairly large, pyramidal tree with spreading branches, about 25' in twenty years.  This particular cultivar has a yellow tinge to the foliage.  The deer love it but I will be spraying every couple of weeks to deter them.   It would be hard to have a conifer garden here without spraying repellent for the deer.  I love the shape of the fronds.

Rosa hugonis
This is a species rose and it is showing a bit of stress which is actually from over watering rather than underwatering.  You can kill a plant with kindness.  This photo was taken a month or two ago and it is looking much better right now.  Some of you may remember the photo on May 16thDsc_0019 of the Fr. Hugo rose in bloom. The blooms are beautiful but I love the gray leaves and the fine texture of this plant.  The one pictured with the flowers was six feet tall and, as you can see, covered with flowers.  This plant originates from Central China and was introduced in the late 1800's.

Rhododendron 'Independence'

This is a large leaf Rhododendron which has a light pink flower and blooms right around the fourth of July.  I know some dislike Rhododendrons but many are of native parentage.  This one is thought to be a cultivar of Rhododendron maxiumum which is native to north Georgia, Nova Scotia and Ontario.  It will achieve a height of 20' or more and is at the back of the border.  I like the reflective quality of the leaves on this plant also and they look great in the winter.  Another deer favorite however so we will have to see who wins that battle!    That is the beginning of the cast.  I'll highlight a few more tomorrow.  Are any of you growing any of these plants?