I first became interested in dwarf conifers back in the early 1970’s. In those days, I was working with a landscaper primarily doing yard and garden care. I had the opportunity to mow lawns and pull weeds in some of the finest private gardens in my area. That was when I was introduced to my first love. She was a beauty, short for her age and bigger around than tall with lovely dark green, tightly held foliage. I’m going to guess that she was nearly 30 years old at the time and truly a sight to behold. My boss called her “Dwarf Hinoki,” but I came to know her as ‘Nana.’
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’ was my first dwarf conifer love and that admiration has lasted all these years. She’s so soft and has a wonderful rich dark green color all year long. In fact, I’ve noticed as it has gotten colder over the past couple of weeks and some conifers have bronzed or become yellowish, ‘Nana’ seems to get darker and darker. In spring, as her new growth begins, she’ll brighten to fresh grass green and darken as the new foliage matures through the season.
‘Nana’ is one of the true miniature conifers that is well suited to rock gardens and container gardens of all kinds. Acquired when small, ‘Nana’ will be perfect for a trough garden for several years. When she outgrows that space, she may be easily transplanted to a container all her own or into the landscape. She’ll just need well drained soil and a sunny location.
My oldest specimen has a prominent place in my front garden, and I’ve recently purchased a second little plant in a four inch pot. I’m not sure exactly where this little beauty will go, but I couldn’t resist her during my last visit to the garden center in November!