Return to the pond

It’s been a few weeks, but I am finally ready to share with you my selections for my young friend’s garden pond. You might remember that my friends had recently purchased a home that was built in 1999 and landscaped primarily with very large, fast growing forest trees. Since that time, my young and energetic friend has cleared much of his backyard of the unwanted trees and shrubs, dug out stumps, collected rocks to build a new waterfall for the pond, plus completed an assortment of other chores in the garden and their new home all while continuing his medical school studies and working at his job. (Ahhh… the days of youthful energy.)

Tsuga canadensis 'Cole's Prostrate'
Tsuga canadensis 'Cole's Prostrate' is a versatile conifer that can be staked and shaped or simply allowed to crawl and fall over and around rocks or other garden plants.

The pond itself is approximately fifteen feet long by eight or nine feet wide at its widest point and has the typical kidney shape of small garden ponds. To the side of one end, is where the water cycles into the pond and where we will build a new, small waterfall. Surrounding the pond is a nice selection of flat stones. Overall, we’ll be planting in a space of approximately 25′ by 20′ minus the area taken up by the pond.

The water fall with be small, perhaps just two to three feet tall and three to four feet wide at its base. It will be a fairly simple tier of flat stones to drop the water from one to the other providing visual and audio interest. Since it will not be large enough to plant much amongst its rockwork, we’ll plant a nice Tsuga canadensis ‘Cole’s Prostrate’ on the back side of the waterfall. Over the next few years, my friend will stake the growth to attain some height and eventually, the weeping branches will spill over much of the outer face of the waterfall rocks, softening their harshness while growing into a soft green mound.

Currently, the pond is partially surrounded by a few ornamental grasses which look very nice in this setting. We’ll plant a few dwarf and miniature conifers to add some color and year-round interest. Along one side of the pond is a rock path to allow close access to the pond so that the fish may be observed. The path leads from a very nice, covered patio complete with a small fireplace. between the pathway and the house, we’ll build a small mounded space, utilizing some rocks that will tie in with the pond, and then we’ll plant with a few more dwarf and miniature conifers.

Here is the list of dwarf and miniature conifers that we have selected to include in this pond project:

Name Growth Zone
Abies balsamea ‘Piccolo’ Dwarf


Abies koreana ‘Cis’ Dwarf


Abies koreana ‘Silberperle’ Miniature


Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Butter Ball’ Dwarf


Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Ellie B.’ Miniature


Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Golden Fern’ Dwarf


Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Just Dandy’ Dwarf


Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Top Point’ dwarf


Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tensan’ Miniature


Juniperus communis ‘Corielagen’ Intermediate


Juniperus horizontalis ‘Golden Carpet’ Intermediate


Picea abies ‘Thumbelina’ Miniature


Picea glauca ‘Humpty Dumpty’ Dwarf


Picea glauca ‘Pixie Dust’ Miniature


Picea orientalis ‘Tom Thumb’ Miniature


Picea pungens ‘St. Mary’s Broom’ Dwarf


Tsuga canadensis ‘Betty Rose’ Miniature


Tsuga canadensis ‘Cole’s Prostrate’ Dwarf


Until next time,

Conifer Lover


4 thoughts on “Return to the pond

  1. Ed, That’s quite a selection of conifers. ‘Cole’s Prostrate’ is one of my favorite conifers. I just love when yo usee one that has been sited & pruned properly – it’s simply magical.


  2. i have the little butterball too and it is really cute….i am jealous as you were able to get a betty rose….i am trying again in spring as just gave my list with all the info to my local garden center…i told him to beg for a betty rose for me :-)…our weather here is northern ohio is very wet and rainy..heavy rains and it is a challenge to keep the plants happy this season.


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