The colors of peace and harmony

I’ve been thinking about colors in nature and how color has an effect on the human psyche or spirit. Two of the most prominent colors found in our natural world are blue and green. For most of the day, when the sky is clear, it is a vast ever-changing gradient of blues. Then, when we are able to remove ourselves from the confines of large buildings, we can be surrounded by green. From large forest trees towering overhead to small blades of grass, at least for part of the year, we can be engulfed in a world of blue and green hues.

I’ve noticed that I feel much better when the sky is clear and blue and I am surrounded by plants. I began to wonder if color itself may have anything to do with those feelings of peace, harmony, kindness, etc. so I decided to see what I could find online. Sure enough, there is quite an abundance of information that suggests the colors we perceive have an effect on our overall health and mood.

It turns out that blue and green are rather healing in their nature. Green is said to support balance, harmony, love, and acceptance while blue increases a sense of calmness, love, peace, honesty, and devotion.

Abies procera ‘Glauca’ (Prostrate Form) not only makes a stunning statement in the garden, but may also provide a sense of peace and love.

No wonder I love conifers!

Our amazing world of conifers is made up of year-round therapeutic color. From the wide range of green tones through the vast assortment of blues, conifers could single-handedly transform your garden into a private wellness center. Even in the dead of winter, when the blue sky is often blocked from view by a thick layer of clouds and other plant life has dropped its foliage or withered away until spring, the conifer garden can provide a sense of well-being and inner peace.

When spring does arrive, the color of the conifers is renewed as fresh new foliage appears. Plus, with the addition of the yellows, orange, violet and red of various deciduous trees and flowers, the garden can inspire fun, humor, creativity, optimism, enthusiasm, imagination, intuition, vitality, stamina and passion!

No wonder I love gardening!

One really great conifer with a stunning blue color is Abies procera ‘Glauca’ (Prostrate Form). This is one bright blue conifer – it is a real stand-out in the garden. Plus, it tends to be a low spreading form that can cover a wide horizontal space. Probably not a true prostrate form, ‘Glauca’ does like to send up the occasional upward growing branch which can be easily removed to encourage its flat form. If an irregular, sculptural form is desired, one might choose to allow one or two of these upright stems to grow, but keep a close watch because in time those small upright stems could become dominant and revert the form of your low spreader into a large upright tree. Either way, the color will remain an extraordinary blue.

Until next time, may your garden be a tranquil respite from the stresses of 21st century life.

Conifer Lover

See you next year!

Just quick note to wish you all a Happy and Joy-filled Christmas Holiday Season! Pop on over to the Facebook page and say “Hi” to one another there until I return!

See you in 2011!

Conifer Lover

An exhilarating week

Ever have a week when things take you totally by surprise? I did this week.

‘Pixie Dust’ [sport #1] update
The first big surprise came when I decided it was time to take a stroll through the gardens at Iseli Nursery. I was very curious about a new plant I described a few months ago, Picea glauca ‘Pixie Dust’ [sport #1]. I wondered if it had begun to push its new growth (my ‘Pixie Dust’ at home was one of the first in my garden to begin its spring flush). So, as I was walking down the path, past the lush soft new foliage on the Acer palmatum ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’ with its red color so deep that it is almost purple, I spotted the object of my desire. Wow! It was totally covered in its fresh light green new growth.

“I want one.”

Picea glauca 'Pixie Dust' Sport #1
Picea glauca ‘Pixie Dust’ Sport #1 in its full spring glory

My words spilled out softly and my mouth remained open as I gazed at the beautiful little tree and imagined how it would grow and shape itself over the coming years. Part of what excited me was the knowledge that this perfect little cone-shaped tree, like its parent, would produce a second flush of growth later in the season that would be near the golden color of butter.

I know it is years away from commercial production, but I want one.

Speaking of Japanese Maples
I mentioned the ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’ above, but I need to tell you that as I toured myself around the garden, it was far from the only Japanese Maple providing a beautiful show in the spring garden. I’ve said before that I look forward to the month of May when the majority of my conifers burst forth into their colorful glory. I’ve also mentioned that April is the month for Japanese Maples.

Acer palmatum 'Twombly's Red Sentinel'
Deep red leaves of Acer palmatum ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’

As I walked through the garden, I saw a full assortment of reds and orange and yellow and green, all soft and fresh and magically inspiring in me a great peace and contentment. One of the tremendous benefits of gardening is the impactful stress relieving qualities it can provide.

Acer palmatum 'Omuryama'
Delicate spring foliage and flower cluster of Acer palmatum ‘Omuryama’

Now that I was calm and feeling quite at peace, I turned a corner and discovered a mature specimen of  Abies cephalonica ‘Meyer’s Dwarf’ that was totally covered in bright red male pollen cones. I’ve observed this same dwarf conifer for many years and I have never seen it with a colorful display this intense! I was instantly transformed from my calm and serene state to complete exhilaration.

I think there is no cure for what I’ve got. I am a confirmed conifer lover.

Conifer Lover