There’s always something new

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.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Little John'
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Little John'

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.

Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar'
Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar' PP#22296

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.

Abies pinsapo 'Horstmann'
Abies pinsapo 'Horstmann'

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!

Conifer Lover

7 thoughts on “There’s always something new

  1. What zone are little John and Jantar hardy in? I live in NC,zone 7b and order plants for a garden center where I work and order from Iselis at least once a year.


    1. Hi Jess, they are both plenty cold-hardy for your 7b (being 5 & 4). If you can successfully grow any Chamaecyparis obtusa or Thuja occidentalis, you should have no problem with these two. Check the Iseli website for more details.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love ‘Hortsmann’, it would be the perfect foil for some colorful low-growing sedums in a mixed border. Thanks for sharing the eye candy.


  3. Hi Ed,
    I just acquired an Abies veitchii ‘Heddergott’ and am having difficulty finding specific cultural conditions. Iseli’s 2010-11 pdf catalog lists it with no photo & their current website doesn’t even list it. In the pdf there is no mention of sun/shade requirements. The Iseli label on the plant was a small one – not their large triangular version that contains size & cultural info. My question boils down to whether this fir needs shelter from afternoon sun like some other firs.
    Anything you can find out would be appreciated as I need to know where to squeeze it into my garden.


    1. Hi Bob, I know very little about ‘Heddergott’ aside from what I have observed of the specimen in the display gardens at Iseli. Theirs is growing in a well-drained location that received what appears to be full-sun, all day long. Keep in mind that the full-sun in Northwest Oregon is often heavily obscured by thick clouds. I suspect that if most Firs require some afternoon shade in your area, this one will be no different.


      1. Thanks Ed. I think I’ve placed it properly with protection from late afternoon sun. We shall see.


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