Wicked sick

The other day, I had a phone call from my inventor friend.

“So, how’s that time machine coming along?” I asked with just a slight tone of whimsy in my voice.

“Oh… so you didn’t notice?”

“Notice what?”

“Never mind – probably best no one ever finds out.” He said and changed the subject. “Hey, Ed, I’m going to send my boy over to your place to pick up some soil samples, ok?”

“Sure, what are you up to now?”

“I am not at liberty to discuss it yet, but rest assured, it will have no global effect.” He said in his calm, monotone voice.

I chuckled just a little and asked if while he was doing whatever it was he was going to do with my soil samples, if he could include some ph and nutritional tests for me. He was happy to write down my request.

Five minutes later, his boy rolls up my driveway on his custom built industrial tricycle complete with attached trailer containing three five gallon buckets and a shovel.

“Hey Buddy – how’s it going?”


“What’s your dad up to this time?”

“Don’t know.”

I’m beginning to learn that he has his father’s gift for conversation. He asks where he can dig and I show him three locations around my property that I wouldn’t mind some soil being removed. He then proceeds to fill each bucket up to the top with soil. I begin to wonder what in the world his father could be up to when he takes notice of one of my conifers down the path from where he is digging.

Pinus mugo 'Jakobsen'
A young Pinus mugo 'Jakobsen' beginning to show its unique characteristics.

“Sick plant!”

“Well, actually it’s doing very well.” I say and proceed to tell him about the great qualities of my Pinus mugo ‘Jakobsen’.

“Yeah, wicked sick!” he tells me.

“Oh… so you like it?”

And who wouldn’t? ‘Jakobsen’ is a fantastic Dutch selection of the Mugo Pine. Very hardy to Zone 2, this dwarf conifer can grow almost anywhere in the USA. Unlike many new cultivars of Pinus mugo with their reliable, uniform mounding growth habits, ‘Jakobsen’ has quite a lot of character. With age it becomes an irregular, mounding, upright, small tree with a very unique clumping habit to its foliage which allows visual access to its thick silvery gray branches. Some describe it as having “natural bonsai” characteristics. Although I can see their point, I believe it would still require a little human interaction to achieve a real garden bonsai type form, but its natural habit certainly does inspire one to take pruners in hand to encourage a more artistic aesthetic. I also love its rich dark green needles and its dwarf habit. If you are looking for something, “wicked sick” for your garden, I have it on good authority that ‘Jakobsen’ is the plant for you.

Conifer Lover

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