Garden sentinel

I gave my friends at Iseli Nursery a visit today since the weather was looking a little better and I needed some garden inspiration after a long morning on my hands and knees pruning back the remains of last year’s showy perennials. (Have I mentioned that conifers provide year-round color and are virtually maintenance free?)

While taking a walk through their display gardens, I was impressed with how great the Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ was looking after all these years. I remember when they planted this specimen back in the mid 1980’s. It was one in a grouping of three that were all in the range of five to six feet tall. Today, I just happened to have a small tape measure in my jacket pocket and found that this beauty is now just over 20 feet tall and nearly five feet across. Even with the heavy snow we had a few weeks ago, this plant shows no sign of snow damage.

Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire'

Today, ‘Degroot’s Spire’ still has a very nice bronze cast to its normally dark green spring and summer color. Like several other conifers, the cold winter temperatures will cause the foliage to change color. The coming warmer days of spring will bring on that rich green color once again. Its soft tight foliage has a bit of a twist and almost appears as ruffles of green covering a straight and tall column.

I’ve seen ‘Degroots Spire’ used as a hardy (to zone 3) privacy hedge, in groups as a focal point or even as the center piece of a large garden sundial. My own ‘Degroot’s are much smaller than the specimen I saw today, and based on what I saw, it will be 25 or 30 years before they may outgrow their place as sentrys on either side of the entrance to my driveway.

Conifer Lover

Thanks again to Iseli Nursery!


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