A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to spend some time with a conifer skeptic. This dear woman and her husband came for a brief visit to discuss a remodeling project in our kitchen. My friend is a brilliant mechanical/construction type of fellow with all kinds of repair and remodeling experience. He and I go way back and he loves conifers nearly as much as I do. His wife has loved flowers all her life and has big plans to remodel their garden. Before they arrived, I pulled together some publications filled with informative text and hundreds of photos of conifers.
We greeted our friends with smiles and hugs and then I immediately made my move.
“I’ve put a few things together for you, since I knew that you were beginning to make plans for re-working your garden.”
“Oh yes! I am going to fill our garden with so much color, your eyes will pop!”
“Great! I pulled together a few books that I thought you might enjoy pursuing for inspiration. These things are filled with ideas for year-round color – which, as you know, can really help to overcome the winter doldrums around here!”
She flipped through one of the catalogs that I had given her and a large smile grew as she began to exclaim, “Color and texture and form, oh my!”
I grinned and began to repeat her phrase and soon all four of us were chanting as if from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. We all laughed and she noted that she had no idea conifers could fill a garden with so much color and interest. She admitted that when she thought of conifers she only considered them to be super tall forest trees or overgrown, half-dead Junipers. I was very happy to see the light bulb floating above her head.
My friend and I moved to the kitchen to discuss my project while the ladies talked about… whatever it is that ladies talk about when the men are not present. A few minutes later, we all took a quick stroll through the garden. By the look on her face, I believe that my friend may have become a convert and I expect many questions in the coming weeks! Little do they know that over the past few years I have grafted several new conifers to share with them and help get them started.