Tight. Congested. Irregular. Three words that one might not ordinarily associate with beauty, yet these three words describe one of the most alluring dwarf evergreens in my garden. Ilex crenata ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ is a delightful dwarf Japanese Holly with small, glossy, dark green mouse-ear shaped leaves. This very slow grower has short almost stubby stems and branches giving it a tight form and irregular shape which adds to its appeal. It’s so useful, I have three in my garden.
My largest specimen is at least twenty years old and measures less than 20 inches tall. This odd little beauty is in sun most of the day and has an honored place in my rock garden. I have a second much smaller plant nearby in a trough planted with a few miniature conifers. And my third little cutie is in a special clay pot with other containers on my patio. ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ is a versatile plant that seems to do well in sun or shade, can be grown in Zone 5 and takes well to life in a container or in good garden soil.
Even though ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ is not a conifer, it is a great companion to conifers and is certainly one of my favorite plants. With spring just around the corner, I may be tempted to pick out a fourth little specimen for my wife’s window box beneath the kitchen window!
Thanks to my friends at Iseli Nursery for the photo link!