Peace and tranquility in the conifer garden

I am really itching to be outside so that I can enjoy the garden from a closer perspective. Although I do quite enjoy the view of my garden from the picture window near my woodstove, I prefer to feel the warming rays of the sun on my face as I sip my morning tea. I know those days are coming… just around the corner.

What could be more calming than enjoying one’s garden? Whether working in the garden, doing seasonal chores, or taking time to sit back and relax, the conifer garden is a divinely tranquil place to spend one’s time. Occasionally I like to slowly stroll through the garden, pulling the start of a weed here, brush a fallen leaf or two off of a miniature conifer there – I just love to hang out with my conifers.

Conifers in the garden
There is a vast diversity of color, texture, shape and size in the conifer garden.

Sometimes when I am sitting quietly while listening to the sounds of the garden, one or two of the local birds will come and hop around nearby taking care of their business. Once in a while, if I’ve forgotten to check the bird feeder, the braver of the birds will cautiously do what it takes to get my attention until I become aware of my negligence and fill the feeder with the appropriate seeds. Overall, it is very tranquil and calming to spend time in the garden.

One of my long-time friends loves coffee just about as much as I love conifers. I was having one of those tranquil mornings when he stopped by with time to kill between appointments. Apparently, I didn’t hear him knock on the front door, so he decided to come looking for me around back. What really struck me as funny, was that in one hand he had one of those travel coffee mugs and in the other he had a large cup from the local coffee shop.

“Ed! Hey Ed! Ed, you around here?” I could hear him shouting as he made his way around the path to the back, startling away the critters that had been keeping me company.


“I’m over here” I said without getting up – not out of rudeness, I’m just not as quick to become fully upright on command as I once was.

We exchanged greetings and I didn’t hesitate long to comment on his two-fisted approach to his morning coffee.

“Oh, that – well, I like to start the day with a couple cups of coffee from home, but I really needed a double-caramel macchiato before my next meeting.” I was immediately reminded of Stan the Java Man, one the past characters from MAD TV, and I chuckled quietly to myself.

Conifers in the garden
The conifer garden offers a huge selection of distinctive plants in a low maintenance, year-round color package.

I sat quietly and listened to his morning adventures, the assorted topics of his first meeting, and the unusual characteristics of some of the other attendees. Then he quickly went on about his latest business plan, and before I could get a word in he commented that all my little bushes looked the same, as his head darted quickly back and forth, barely getting a glance at some of the dwarf and miniature conifers in the immediate vicinity.

“Really, they all look alike to you?” I asked hoping to get him to take another, more in-depth look at the plants.

“Yup, well they are different sizes – I guess that’s because some are older than others – but other than that, they all look pretty much the same.

I wondered if that was how life appeared to my friend, just a blur of similar looking objects – a blindness fueled by too much caffeine, too busy a schedule and never allowing himself time to actually see the world around him. I can’t help but wonder if many of today’s struggles are self-inflicted because people are too busy to spend time seeing the incredible beauty of the natural world all around us. I believe that every moment of tranquility we can find in our lives will give us a better perspective to guide our choices during life’s unwanted stressful events.

I hope that I can talk my friend into slowing down just a little and take some time to enjoy the calming and tranquil effects of gardening. I know that if I can get him started with low-care dwarf and miniature conifers, his transition into the gardening world should be an easy one. (Maybe he can even grow his own coffee beans.)

Conifer Lover

4 thoughts on “Peace and tranquility in the conifer garden

  1. What a beautiful garden! It’s like a personal park you have there ED. How long did it take you to make it look like this? And what tree is that pom=pom looking beauty in the second picture?

    Maybe your friend needs an appointment with the eye doctor.


    1. Hi Tina – Thanks for your comments! I must admit, the beautiful garden pictured here (and in most of the photos provided to me by Iseli Nursery) are of the plants and gardens at Iseli. The sculptured tree in the second photo is Chamaecyparis pisifera var. filifera, the Treadbranch Cypress. This one is close to 10 feet tall and began its pruning process 10 to 15 years ago.


  2. Wow, a conifer garden like that is my idea of heaven!

    Most people I know and who I am close to tend to be like your coffee drinking pal. I can definitely relate. I am so grateful that gardening has slowed me down and opened up my eyes to nature’s gorgeous subtleties as well as its dynamic range. It makes me feel truly alive.


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