A giant gnome’s hat

There is just something about gardening that inspires in me visions of whimsical creatures like fairies, gnomes and the like. Perhaps it’s my love for the dwarf and miniature conifers. As I work with delightfully small versions of our giant forest trees, I am often reminded of the stories from my youth about the magical and often mischievous sprites of ancient folklore.

Picea omorika 'Nana'

Last week I was introducing a new friend to my conifer garden and his young son asked me where the gnomes live. My friend and I laughed a little about this inquiry, and then I asked the young lad why he thought gnomes were living in my garden. Pointing down the path about 60 feet or so toward my Picea omorika ‘Nana’, he said, “Cuz one of ’em left his hat over there.” Sure enough, my specimen of about 18 years looks very much like a gnome’s hat – a really big gnome that is.

The Dwarf Serbian spruce makes a great garden tree with its classic conical shape, blue-green foliage and low maintenance tidy habit. ‘Nana’ is also hardy to Zone 4, so I know it would be popular with the folks in those very cold winter regions around the USA and other parts of the world. Growing at a rate of three or four inches per year in my climate, it is definitely a dwarf compared to its parent tree. But if it survives for 300 years, it could potentially be quite a giant itself.

Conifer lover

Thanks again to the good folks at Iseli for the photo links.