Brightest of the Blues

We have had a very pleasant late summer and early autumn this year. Oh, sure, we’ve had several showery days since the end of August, but the showers have been brief and the temperatures moderate. Today though, I’ve really been feeling like fall is here to stay. It’s much cooler out, the wind is blowing, and we’ve had several showers. I’ve found that it’s been a great day to enjoy in my favorite chair, next to my woodstove and picture window overlooking my garden.

Picea pungens Hoopsii
Picea pungens 'Hoopsii'

The foliage on my Japanese Maples continue to turn to bright hues of red and yellow and orange – which look fantastic in the conifer garden complementing the various blues of my Blue Spruce. One tree is really standing out today in this delightful parade of color. Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’ is probably the brightest blue spruce available. If it is not the brightest, it is certainly the one to measure any new selections up against for its great blue color.

According to the American Conifer Society, this hardy selection of the Colorado Blue Spruce originated at the Hoops Nursery in Germany and was introduced in 1955 by Grootendorst Nursery of Holland. The tree has a reputation of being an irregular grower when young, but with good early care by the professional nursery folks, plants available to consumers should be well shaped and trouble free.

This stately tree is not a dwarf, so place it with room to grow expecting up to 12″ per year and a 10 year height near 15 feet. ‘Hoopsii’ is such an amazing selection with bright blue color and mature formal shape, it is one tree worth finding a place for even in smaller gardens.

Conifer Lover

Thanks to Iseli for the photo links!