Back in 2007, the American Conifer Society awarded two fantastic conifers with the status, “Conifer of the Year.” Picea orientalis ‘Tom Thumb’ is a golden miniature form discovered as a witches’ broom growing on P.o. ‘Skylands’. I mentioned it in one of the first blogs I wrote in October of that year. The second selection is perhaps one of the best upright growing, weeping forms of spruce you will find.
Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’ is one of those trees that always turns heads because of the wonderful character it adds to the garden. This narrow upright grower, as it matures, will begin to slightly lean and curve and gently twist its way upward in a very narrow spire that will fit in the smallest gardens. As its terminal growth heads ever skyward, all of its side branches will droop and fall toward the ground. Once on the ground, those lower branches will begin to spread and layer upon one another creating a low ground cover. Of course, with a little pruning, those lower branches can easily be removed if one prefers other companion plants beneath this elegant living garden sculpture.
I love its light green foliage and the silvery cast of the undersides of the needles. At times its form reminds me of an old wizard, standing with a slight bend to his posture, while watching over the garden and all its inhabitants. I’ve seen others planted in groups of three that have appeared as snake-like creatures dancing to the secret tune of a snake charmer. Others inspire different imaginations depending on the angle with which one views the garden. Once I saw a large specimen planted near a Pinus densiflora ‘Umbraculifera’ and from a distance the two looked like a giant mastodon.
I hope you’ll have an opportunity to enhance your garden (and stimulate your imagination) by planting at least one ‘Pendula Bruns’ in your garden. I’m confident that you’ll love this hardy, elegant and whimsical conifer as much as I do.