If your garden were a symphony

It had been a long and hectic week; one project after another interspersed with appointments and social events; by the end of the week, I was exhausted and decided that nothing would pull me away from my favorite chair near the big picture window overlooking my conifer garden.

As I sipped my tea and read The Hobbit, allowing myself to become pulled into Middle Earth with Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf, I would occasionally take a break from the adventure and gaze out upon my garden. I imagined that this odd group of adventurers would probably feel quite at home in my garden of unusual, dwarf and miniature conifers.

Garden Symphony
Let your imagination run free while you spend time in your garden!

My Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’ actually does remind me of a tall wizard with a long pointed hat and certainly many of my other dwarf plants are reminiscent of other whimsical creatures from tales of fantasy and folklore. Just the other day, my wife called me to where she was sitting and pointed out that a Cheshire Cat was staring at her from the garden. Sure enough, my Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Verdoni’ had somehow morphed into a large cat sitting with the largest grin you might imagine – and it did appear to be staring right at the place that my wife had been sitting.

Garden Symphony
If your garden were a symphony, would if be as bold as Shostakovich or a delightful dance by Dufay?

Our imaginations are wonderful and mysterious. Just the other day, between rain storms, as I took a stroll through my garden, I began to imagine that it was a symphony and the plants were not just the players, but their shape, size, texture and color all contributed to the sounds they made. Larger, dense plants gave off rich, deep tones like that of a bow slowly gliding across the strings of a double bass – strong and loud at first and then tapering off to a gentle tone before silence. Other plants, such as my Thuja plicata ‘Whipchord’ were higher pitched and they played their tones as an arpeggio of notes fluttering like a flute or piccolo. By the time I had made my way through the garden, I was refreshed and felt as though I had just enjoyed a live symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

If your garden were a symphony, would it be a grand waltz by Johan Strauss such as, The Blue Danube, or would your garden be something more subtle, like Robert Rich’s Seascape?

Think about your garden design from a different perspective this coming year and see if dwarf and miniature conifers might be just the plants you need for the perfect year-round garden symphony!

Conifer Lover

14 thoughts on “If your garden were a symphony

  1. Upon reflection I think my garden is a bit like Swan Lake in the Spring…the whole concept of your post is inspiring. It makes me think about how the beauty of nature and music are related.
    Your garden is stunning.


  2. Your comments make me want to see your garden! On the East Coast in southern Maine, we do not have our usual snow covered landscapes. We actually have gardens of winter interest and I’m enjoying mine. Who knows what’s yet to come – a springtime drought? Go with the flow (or lack of it)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have used your pictures as inspiration in designing my garden at my new home in Mossyrock WA. Last summer I made borders of rock dug from our yard and cemented them together so the weeds would not grow in between. Then I filled the beds with dirt for some elevation and began planting a lot of miniature and medium sized conifers, along with some heather, ornamental grasses and a few low growing perennials. It turned out great! Since I am fairly new at landscaping I spent a lot of time looking for inspiration and your pictures and comments are my favorite. Thank you for sharing your garden and ideas. I look forward to every update.


  4. Hi Ed,

    I found your blog through Iseli’s and in a very short time have come to adore it. The garden compositions and conifer selections are wonderful. The garden as a symphony metaphor, tickled me and is simply beautiful. More importantly, since I design for a living, it made me think….and imagine. Thank you!

    Happy Spring,



    1. Hi Lisa – Wow, you have made my morning with such nice things to say! I am thrilled to know that I may have sparked within you a new way to approach your designs. :^)


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