Seventy-seven days

“Hi Uncle Ed, happy seventy-seven days until Christmas!” was how the first phone call of the day began Sunday morning. My niece and I visited on the phone for fifteen minutes or so – she was checking in to see what my wife and I might have planned for the winter holidays. Our extended families always try to spend either Thanksgiving or Christmas together, and this year my niece and her husband decided that it was their turn to host one of the big events.

“Great, we would love to spend the Christmas weekend at your house.” I said while thinking that since we wouldn’t be hosting the big event this year, perhaps I would be able to encourage my wife to tone down our Christmas decorating just a little bit. I began to play out in my mind the methods I would use to convince my wife that miniature decorating could be just a fun as the usual full-on extravaganza of transforming our home and garden into a winter wonderland. “Okay, thanks for calling…gotta go.” I cut the conversation a little short as my mind became flooded with ways to decorate key spaces around our home with miniature decorations that would reduce my winter holiday workload and yet still satisfy my wife’s desire to have the cutest house ever!

Picea glauca 'Jeans Dilly'
Named in honor of Jean Iseli, Picea glauca ‘Jeans Dilly’ is perfect for small garden spaces, containers and miniature gardens.

My plan is to create several container groupings that will include dwarf and miniature conifers along with fun miniature accessories and tiny lights. I know that a few of my existing container plantings are perfectly suited to become enhanced for the upcoming holidays. With the addition of a few more conifers, planted in nice containers and individually decorated, plus a few planted in larger containers together with fun accessories, I’ll be able to decorate the front entry along the pathway from the driveway to the front door as well as other key areas that I know will please my wife.

What’s great about these container plantings is that they will be perfect for year-round use. Like I mentioned, I’ll be able to utilize some of my existing containerized conifers as well as have a great excuse to plant up a new container grouping or two. Of course, I’ll be creating holiday themed miniature container gardens now, but they will be easily converted into ordinary container plantings when the holidays are past making them beautiful additions to our patio garden.

One key conifer that I will be using in more than one design will be Picea glauca ‘Jean’s Dilly.’ This premium dwarf was named after Jean Iseli, a dwarf conifer pioneer and founder of Iseli Nursery. ‘Jean’s Dilly’ is also one of the first plants selected as one of Iseli’s Signature Series of plants in honor of Jean. An exceptional slow-growing form with small, thin needles and  a familiar, traditional Christmas-tree shape.

I’ll use ‘Jean’s Dilly’ as a foundation plant and place additional plants and accessories in the container as my imagination dictates. I envision using tiny snowmen and elves and, if I am lucky enough to find one, an Abominable Snowman from the classic, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer animated special from 1964 in one of my designs. Of course, what holiday decoration would be complete without tiny lights and a miniature train set?

I have quite a lot of work ahead of me now, Christmas is only 77 days away!

Conifer Lover

Ps, This post marks the Fourth Anniversary of The Amazing World of Conifers!