I struck gold!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away? It’s nearing the end of November, and there is so much to do in my garden before winter really does set in. The leaves are very nearly all off of my trees and spread all over my driveway and in and around my garden. Then the pouring rain made sure to pound the leaves into clumps and mats on my smaller conifers – in some cases completely burying them in wet leaves. Thankfully today, though dark gray with clouds, is dryer than yesterday so I should be able to uncover my little treasures setting them free to breathe again.

 All it takes is a little time, energy and finesse to delicately remove the offending fallen leaves in such a way as not to break any little branches on my miniature conifers. I can usually pull the leaves off of my larger plants or even give them a brisk shake to set them free from the invading maple, birch, dogwood or other leaves that just days ago were providing a wondrous display of color. By next spring these leaves will be well on their way to becoming compost to spread in the garden next summer.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Gold Strike'
You can strike gold too with this hardy, colorful, groundcovering conifer.

Juniperus horizontalis ‘Gold Strike’ is one of my newer conifer additions this year. Like its parent, ‘Mother Lode,’ ‘Gold Strike’ is an absolutely striking, bright golden yellow color. This time of year I need all the bright sunny color I can get, and ‘Gold Strike’ is one of the best yellow groundcovers you will find for the garden. Pulling away the fallen leaves from this plant was like opening the draperies on a sunny summer morning – its bright golden tones warmed me right up. It won’t be too much longer though, and ‘Gold Strike’ will begin to change into its winter colors of pinkish plum, orange and gold.

 One of the beauties of conifers is their year-round appeal – the fact that they provide color and structure and texture in the garden all year long with very little fuss. I love my conifers. I hope you love yours too.

Conifer Lover


4 thoughts on “I struck gold!

  1. Ed,

    You mentioned in your post that ‘Gold Strike’ came off of ‘Mother Lode.’ What is the difference in color/habit/size between the two?


    1. Excellent question, Rudie! What I have observed is that ‘Gold Strike’ is just a little slower spreading than ‘Mother Lode’ and it may become more of a slight mounding form. There is a slight coloration difference to my eye, but it seems to be very subtle. From what I understand, ‘Gold Strike’ is well suited to geographical regions where ‘Mother Lode’ has some trouble and is an excellent substitute there. ‘Mother Lode’ performs its best in very well-drained soil and a climate on the dry side. ‘Gold Strike’ will also be at its best in well-drained soil but seems to tolerate wet and humid conditions very well. I’ve got both in my garden now, so I’ll be watching them closely.


  2. Hi Ed… I just wanted to let you know how inspiring your blog is for me… I anxiously await each new post and study the archives virtually every day. We have a two acre ornamental garden and I’ve always known that at some point I would have to make some changes as we get older… I do have quite a few conifers but am involved with a great many other plant groups as well. I was recently diagnosed with a right rotator cuff that is mostly disintegrated and the surgeon said I need to “get a new life style”. There is no way that I can ever stop gardening, but the change of garden style is something I can deal with. As I muse on this… maybe it’s a blessing in disguise… by not waiting until my 70’s to adapt the gardens, I will have (hopefully) many more years of watching small conifers come into their own, as it were! I am very excited about using conifers in hyper-tuffa also and that aspect of gardening is high on my list for this next season! Looking forward to more posts from you… Larry in Wisconsin


    1. Larry, great to hear from you. I certainly understand the need for a less physical garden and planning ahead for the future! Choosing dwarf conifers and container gardening is a wise way to go. I’m pleased you are finding the blog useful and I truly appreciate you taking the time to let me know.


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