Electricity, bacon and burned hair

Ever have one of those dreams that seems so real that it lingers with you for hours – or even days? I had one a few nights ago, and it’s still haunting my thoughts. Not that it was a nightmare, it was just so strange and yet so real. Maybe it was real – but it couldn’t have been.

The day had begun just like any other. I met a good friend at my favorite coffee shop on Main Street, we talked about his new job, his new wife and his garden. I’ve been giving him landscaping suggestions and advice for a number of years. Two houses and two wives later, he’s beginning to really enjoy gardening – it’s something they enjoy doing together.

Pinus strobus 'Mini Twists'
‘Mini Twists’ provides an unusual texture and soothing color to the garden.

Anyway, we discussed several different plants that day, but one captured his attention more than any other that I suggested. Pinus strobus ‘Mini Twists’ is an exciting small tree with long, twisted, blue-green needles. The unusual twisted appearance of the needles makes me wonder if the little fella stuck his fingers in the electric outlet causing his hair to become frizzled! Overall, ‘Mini Twists’ will add an interesting texture to the garden – soft and coarse at the same time. Its dwarf growth rate will enable it to fit into most gardens, and it does respond well to a little candle pruning should a more compact form be desired.

In my dream, this same friend and I were strolling through my garden and I had just promised to give him my ‘Mini Twists’ in a small container. Suddenly, the air began to fill with electricity, I noticed the hair raising on my forearms, a very strange odor filled the air – like bacon and burned hair – and my inventor friend appeared right before us, his hair smoking and frizzed out.

“I’m sorry, Ed – I’m really, really sorry!” he said as he grabbed the ‘Mini Twists’ container out of my hands and disappeared in a flash of electricity, bacon and burned hair.

At that instant I awoke, my eyes wide open, my heart pounding and I must have vocally expressed my confusion because my wife suggested that if I was going to use that kind of language, I’d best get out of bed and join the navy. Even today, the memory still lingers and every once in a while I seem to catch a whiff of burned hair and bacon.

Pinus strobus 'Mini Twists'
Delicate looking bi-color needles of ‘Mini Twists’ make it a very special plant.

I still haven’t figured out what message my subconscious was trying to convey, but I think that I’d better make sure I have a couple of ‘Mini Twists’ in my garden just in case they become extremely valuable in some future economy!

Sleep well.

Conifer Lover

Super Dwarfs

Have you ever found yourself becoming drowsy in front of your computer monitor? Last night I was up later than normal looking at pictures of amazing new dwarf and miniature conifers. Before I knew it, I entered into that spacey state of mind that is not quite sleep and not quite awake.

While I was in that space, I began to dream of a garden filled with perfectly shaped dwarf conifers. As the dream began, the conifers were all planted normally in a garden setting; plump round ones and conically shaped ones; green, blue and yellowed colored ones; even spreading and prostrate conifers, all in a wonderful endless garden.

Then, as dreams often do, things started to become rather unusual. Those dwarf and miniature conifers seemed to sprout little arms and faces began to appear in their foliage. And then things got really weird; little red capes began to flow in the breeze and these super dwarfs began to fly around the garden. In my dream I began to chuckle as I watched and then I was laughing out loud.

I awoke as my wife touched my shoulder and asked me what was so funny.

Super dwarfs in a container
Super dwarfs in a container

Today, as I reflect on that strange little dream, I can’t help but think about some of the “super dwarfs” in my garden – the ones that are totally reliable and hardy year after year.

Next time I’ll compose a list of some truly super miniature and dwarf conifers. This list will include plants that the beginning conifer enthusiast should be successful finding in their local fine garden centers and also prove to be trouble free in the novice conifer garden. (Experienced cone heads will love them too!)

Until then, I’ll be living the dream.

Conifer Lover