I am getting excited about spring! The days are getting longer, the sun is peaking out from behind the clouds from time to time, and I’ve been able to work in my garden with just a sweatshirt and vest instead of my winter coat and raingear. The garden beds have been pretty much cleared of the remains of last year’s perennials and the debris that had blown in over the winter.
Every year as I’m doing my late winter cleanup, I tell myself to fill in more of my garden spaces with dwarf conifers since they require so little care and provide color all year long. I know my wife will try to talk me into adding just a few more flowering plants, and I’m sure that I’ll give in because they are great companions to my conifers, but I know I’m going to use most of my garden budget this year to increase my collection of low maintenance, colorful, dwarf conifers.
The first one on my list is Thuja occidentalis ‘Golden Tuffet’ for its rich golden orange color, fine texture and compact form. I’ve got just the place for it near the gray-green of my Picea pungens ‘Globe’, the bright blue of my Picea pungens ‘St. Mary’s Broom,’ the rich green of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’ and the deep red of my Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Crimson Queen.’ This little corner of color will loose the reds of the ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple during the winter, but all the other colors will remain year-round.
I’m sure once I’ve brought home and planted a ‘Golden Tuffet’, my wife will be happy with the color spot it provides (and I’ll have eliminated another area of annuals in my garden with a colorful, easy care plant that we can enjoy year after year).