After working very hard in my garden during the brief but greatly appreciated sunny, warm, summer-like weather over the weekend, I decided that I deserved a relaxing stroll through the display gardens at Iseli Nursery. It seems that no matter how many times I visit their gardens, I always find something new and exciting that I had overlooked in previous visits. I do know that they enjoy adding new plants and they even swap in new plants when some of those that have been evaluated are thought not to be up to Iseli quality in performance, reliability or other factors they require to ensure only the best plants have an Iseli label in garden centers all over the country.
One amazing new dwarf conifer that I have become quite enamored with is Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Little John’. I love its slightly twisted, coarsely textured, compact foliage. With a little pruning to guide its form when young, I believe ‘Little John’ will mature into a very handsome small tree. I also suspect that it may have some value in bonsai or other specialized artistic pruning and should perform very well in a container on the deck or patio for a number of years.
Another tremendous new conifer that caught my eye is Thuja occidentalis ‘Jantar’, which comes to the United States from Jakub Jablonski in Poland. This bright amber-yellow selection is a narrow column of soft, sweetly scented foliage that is typical of Arborvitae. Its form suggests that it will be well suited as a single specimen where a bright shaft of gold is desired, or planted in a hedge-row, it would become a stunning wall of intense color.
Finally, Abies pinsapo ‘Horstmann’ has been on my want-list for some time now, but my last visit strengthened my desire and resolve to obtain one of these beautiful dwarf Spanish firs for my garden. This little bluish, globe-shaped, stiff needled conifer has foliage very typical of the species with its short, thick, sturdy blunt-tipped needles which completely surround the branch giving the appearance of a bottle-brush. Soft bluish-green new foliage will emerge in spring and grow for a few inches into early summer as the needles harden into their already mentioned sturdiness.
These conifers are so new, and in limited quantities, that I know you’ll want to make a special order with your favorite independent garden center!
No matter how many conifers I may collect, nor how many visits I may make to Iseli or other gardens, there is always something new to learn in the amazing world of conifers!