Love at first sight

Picea glauca 'Pendula'The first time I saw this conifer I was absolutely in love. Seriously. This is one of those fantastic trees that deserves a place in every garden and rates among the most hardy conifers around too! Heavy snow load? Ice storm? No problem!

Picea glauca ‘Pendula’ is a stunning, majestic beauty. The foliage is a dark grey-green giving this conifer a good solid appearance. This thing grows straight as an arrow and shoots up toward the sky while all its branches curve down, layer upon layer, creating a wonderfully tall and narrow spire. Many weeping conifers have very flexible branches that dangle loosely, hanging and drooping toward the ground, but P.g. ‘Pendula’s branches seem programed to turn and head for the ground in a very purposed manner. Its form reminds me of my favorite local waterfall, Multnomah Falls in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. This is one of those trees that as much as I try to describe it, I don’t think I’ll ever do it justice. Even when photographed, it never seems as impressive to me as standing next to one well placed in a garden!

I’d love have the space to plant a long row of these around the border of my property to create a tall living castle wall!

Until next time,

Conifer Lover

Thanks again to Iseli for the photo links.

Yes, it’s hardy, and I like it too!

I have a friend that lives in the Midwest and he is always looking for very hardy conifers. We’ll be on the phone talking about our latest finds – me bragging about the great new bun-shaped Chamaecyparis or fascinatingly irregular form of Cryptomeria  – and I know he’s rolling his eyes on the other end of the line.

“Yeah, but I found a really cool dwarf mugo,” my friend tells me.

I’m thinking, “Oh great, another little green blob.” until I remember how much I like some of the TRUdwarf® mugos I have in my rock garden. “What did you find?” I ask.

“Something called, ‘Short Needle,'” he says.

Pinus mugo 'Short Needle

Oh yeah…there really are some great dwarf and miniature, extremely hardy mugo pines available these days. Sometimes I forget, living in our relatively mild climate here in the PNW, that other areas of the country are very limited to what they can grow. But, super hardy does not need to mean boring!

I just came back in from my rock garden to realize that most of my very dwarf and miniature conifers ARE very hardy too! As I mentioned earlier, the TRUdwarf® line of dwarf mugo pines include some great finds in sizes ranging from tiny, with growth rates of an inch or less per year, to simply dwarf forms like P.m. ‘Mops’ that can grow to about 6 feet by 8 feet or so in 30 years.

Some of my favorites for their very neat and compact form are:

Pinus mugo ‘Mitsch Mini’
Pinus mugo ‘Donna’s Mini’
Pinus mugo ‘Slowmound’
Pinus mugo ‘Mops’ and
Pinus mugo ‘Big Tuna’

All are great specimens for any conifer garden – I’m glad my mid-western friend reminded me of these excellent garden gems.

Conifer Lover

Thanks to my friends at Iseli Nursery for providing the photo links.