Since evergreen conifers afford texture and year-round color, woody ornamentals, like trees and shrubs are natural companion plants with their seasonal changes in appearance. Conifers, most of which are evergreens, naturally make great neighbors to ornamental companion plants in the garden. https://conifersociety.org/conifers/articles/conifers-companion-planting For city dwellers, pines and junipers fare well in more exposed sites. Luckily, most can be moved with minimal effort in an immature garden. Tweet this. Comments Off on Conifer Garden Style: Pines, Cedars and companion plants. Enjoy access to exclusive content, Conifer Database, garden visits, Conifer Q&A Forums, nursery tours with member discounts on unusual cultivars, scholarships for hort students and more. Now can you believe people like other things besides conifers, even me, so that is where the other companions come into their own. Always be mindful of mature plant size and scale. Makes a formal statement in the garden. David Resavage is a professional landscape designer possessing an abounding love of conifers, tropicals, and any plant deemed rare or unusual. A concentration of them can be found in the Conifer Garden, which is a designated Reference Garden for the Southeast as determined by the American Conifer Society. There are not many of those, but an Aralia elata ‘Variegata’ fits the bill. Both score high with regard to color and size, and are particularly appealing in form. Tom Smith, UK. Cotoneaster microphylla ‘Thyminifolius’. Be creative in your garden design and plant associations as the plant selections offered today are endless. With so many trees and shrubs available, the association between conifers and woody companion plants is endless. Tiger Lily or Columbia Lily, Lilium columbium, is a bulbous perennial produces 1-4′ tall flowering stems with up to 20 small, yellow-orange flowers with maroon spots and recurved tepals and dark orange anthers. After pursuing an academic career in landscape design and ornamental horticulture, he began actively pursuing, studying and utilizing the most unusual, rare and dramatic landscape plants in his designs. Heucheras work well planted in mass groupings and used as a boarder edging in the semi-shaded garden. With all planting work for conifers, never plant them in compacted soil. I like this tree quite a bit. A favorite grass-like perennial of mine that works well in both sun and shade is Liriope muscari ‘Variegata.' A great contrast plant in the garden, especially when used in groups or mass plantings, is Heuchera, commonly known as coralbells. My favorite tree is our Stewartia koreana, which is the best tree we have in the garden. Enjoy access to exclusive content, Conifer Database, garden visits, Conifer Q&A Forums, nursery tours with member discounts on unusual cultivars, scholarships for hort students and more. We grow a premium selection of small plants, shrubs and groundcovers which are great choices when planning all kinds of gardens (conifer, miniature, theme, container). Excellent as a container plant or miniature Christmas tree. You don’t see many in the U. S. and I like things that not everyone has. Conifers are a versatile and attractive addition to any landscape. Of course, my favorite is whichever one I happen to be standing by at the moment. in this article are listed ALPHABETICALLY. The vast array of conifers and companion plants offered in the market today make it possible for harmonious, interesting, and dramatic garden designs. He has traveled extensively throughout the British Isles, Canada and the Caribbean researching and observing native and ornamental plantsin relation to garden design. They are very hard to find. Simply cut the banana stalks down to about 6 inches tall after the first frost. The colorful variegated leaves endure well into early winter, making it a hardworking plant, worthy of garden space. The choice of conifers available is huge, ranging from yew trees (Taxus baccata), which make the best hedges because they are slow-growing, to miniatures such as … It only takes one visit to a well-stocked nursery to realize that your only limit when choosing companion plants is your imagination. A lot of the lower growing ones like full sun, which might be a challenge. Many new plants offered today, both conifers and companion plants, are far superior to the cultivars of yesteryear and new additions to the garden can be a welcome breath of fresh air, especially in a mature garden. Become a member for only $40 a year and get discounts with our growing list of participating nurseries in our Nursery Discount Program. I hope you can help! Right now, I happen to be standing by Abies koreana ‘Cis’, so that is my favorite at this moment. Conifers are trees with unique scale-like leaves or needles and their seed-bearing cones are easily recognised. Heather is just one plant that mixes well with conifers. While attractive close up, the flowers are however not particularly showy from a distance. While at your favorite nursery, look for what is currently in bloom, but also be attentive to how the plant will look later in the season, after the flowering period is complete. A graceful grass with arching bright yellow blades, it looks great when paired with a conifer such as Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Pendula.'. We have a big conifer tree at the bottom of the garden and when we moved in a couple of years ago there was so many weeds and overgrowth that it took me ages to clear. Equally, the shady summer garden can be brightened up with the unusual pairing of the shrubby form, leathery-leafed, evergreen Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata,' combined with such mounding/prostrate conifers, as Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ or Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Duke Gardens.'. The Totaras, Podocarpus acutifolius, nivalis, and totara are from New Zealand; and the Momi Fir, Abies firma, is from Japan. Join the ACS to support our scholarships, grants, conservation efforts, and hang out with the Coneheads. Those gardeners with restricted space who desire a small spring flowering tree, would benefit from the association of the pink flowering Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ with Picea pungens ‘Procumbens’. A few that I like are Androsace primmuloides ‘Yunnanensis,’ Aquilegia jonesii, Draba athor, Erigeron hybrida ‘Canary Bird,’ Gentiana acaulis and of course, the saxifragas. It also has white bark which gives it winter interest. They like acid soil and cool temperatures, which make them very difficult for me to grow in Oelwein, Iowa. Cover the stalk completely with deep hardwood mulch or use leaves. Slow growing 6 to 8 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide. Since evergreen conifers afford texture and year-round color, woody ornamentals, like trees and shrubs are natural companion plants with their seasonal changes in appearance. The rose’s attractive hips add to the winter interest provided by the conifers. If you have a juniper shrub with deep-blue needles like the dwarf conifer Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star,’ for instance, then consider a golden dwarf conifer of another species. This exotic banana will grow easily to 10-feet tall or more in a single season. Find companion plants for your evergreen conifer garden to add a splash of color and texture! Conifer Garden Style: Pines, Cedars and companion plants. Minimal winter protection in the fall ensures this large growing tropical will return year after year. Particular attention must be paid to size, scale, and growth rate of companion plants. When associating perennials, grasses and YES, even tropical plants with conifers and woody ornamentals, a garden is yet again transformed, taking on an added dimension of depth, scale, and drama. Now if you like a challenge, Cassiope, Phyllodoce, and X Phylliopsis are what you want to give a try. (I don’t like to say budget is a limit when choosing garden plants because plants, unlike most other purchases, will GROW! One that I especially like is Saxifraga ‘Rose Marie’ maybe because the flower stem is so short there is no chance to hide the conifer foliage. We raise miniature, dwarf, intermediate and large growing Hinoki Cypress, Cryptomeria, Spruce, Juniper, Pine, and many selections used for Bonsai. Many novice gardens and homeowners embarking on a new garden design or landscape renovation are unaware of the magic conifers will bring to their schemes when combined with their favorite ornamental flowering shrubs, trees, perennials, grasses, and even tropical plants, such as bananas! Or it may be friends at a Rendezvous in the Bickelhaupt Arboretum. The large leaves combine well with other intermediate and large conifers, such as Cedrus atlantica ‘Fastigiata,' as I have done in my own garden. Many new varieties exist with extended bloom periods and repeat bloom cycles; these new cultivars are not your grandmother’s daylilies! Finally if you remember, I said in the beginning you need people. It makes an outstanding complement to bluish colored conifers, especially during the winter months. Salix lindleyana. It flowers around the 4th of July, has great fall color, and the bark is outstanding year around. Grow in cool sun to part shade in moderately fertile, … Become a member for only $40 a year and get discounts with our growing list of participating nurseries in our Nursery Discount Program. by Rishi Ramgutty. Large dramatic light green leaves up to 6-feet long are sure to make a few heads turn. You may be surprised, but some of the rhododendrons work well. Evergreen. This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of Conifer Quarterly. I have found myself in this difficult situation; faced with the task of removing the old in order to make room for the new and exciting, then finally arriving at a happy conclusion that most times the removal was for the best, as a garden landscape is ever changing. Companion Plants for Buxus "Green Mountain" They should be at the very least displayed in groupings; odd-number groups seem to work best. Join our friendly community that shares tips and ideas for gardens, along with seeds and plants. The horticultural marriage between evergreen conifers and companion plants can ensure years of gardening bliss when thoughtfully arranged. But again, the same rules apply. Abies – fir. You have to have people to make the gardening experience complete. First, are the trees. Try to use companion plants with distinctive shapes, like conifers, for this type. Always bear in mind their ultimate size and mature visual appearance next to their conifer neighbors. Plants That Look Good With Roses . It’s up to you. A 2018 renovation made possible by significant support from the Fraser-Parker Foundation afforded the planting of 90 conifers, 26 new conifer species, four new conifer genera and companion plants. The small daphnes are outstanding, and I have about thirty of those. He is the chief landscape designer for Hanover Nursery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. You can always buy smaller plants, just be patient and offersome extra TLC with young plants.). Salix lapponum is well named with the cloak of silvery hairs that cover all parts of the plant in summer. The delicate spring foliage of five or seven pointed, lobed, wine-red to burgundy leaves, hold… Try this and by late June your banana will be taller than you and well on its way to giant proportions creating major garden drama! I am sure everyone who has heard my nonsense knows that the best companion for a conifer is another conifer. The first step in creating a conifer-rich planting is deciding how big to make the garden. This plant has seen an explosion of cultivars in endless colors recently. These may be friends you have made at a regional or national ACS meeting. Conifers expand your planting palette and enable you to ‘paint’ unique landscapes. This plant has endless uses, from being planted en masse as a groundcover to utilization as a wispy edging/border plant. Bilbo Baggins How To Be Likeable Companion Planting Trees And Shrubs Container Plants Dwarf The Hobbit Evergreen The Selection. Broadleaved evergreens, such as rhododendron, also make good companion plants for conifers. Be on the lookout for new and up-and-coming plants, which are always being marketed. Stay with the smaller ones as some of the larger ones are too big for companions. Calocedrus – Incense cedar. You might have a fire pit, gnome house, bench, or a stream, that all qualify. From a gazebo to a path, everything that is not a plant is hardscape to me. The last plant hole is filled with the soil from the first excavation (from the wheelbarrow). Some plants, especially woody ornamentals and perennials, are notorious for growing larger than the printed information tag accompanying them. Plants from the genus Hemerocallis, commonly known as daylilies, might be considered an old standby but are now being offered in endless color combinations. With limited space in this article, I can only offer some interesting suggestions utilizing these associations in the garden. The marriage couldn’t be more perfect. Best of all these two new big leaf hydrangea cultivars are repeat bloomers, June through October, and will reliably produce flowers every year, even after a harsh northeastern winter. Now for rock garden plants, or is that perennials? Principal photography was generously donated by Janice LeCocq Photgraphy, Additions to the International Conifer Register. People who are attracted to conifers are also generally attracted to Japanese maples (Acer palmatum cvs, zones 5 to 8). My garden is small, so to get 350 conifers in there you have to like small. Plants with tall spires complement the wide, cup-shaped flowers of roses, while perennials and shrubs with pale green, silver, or purple leaves accentuate the sumptuous rose blossoms. The new, bluegreen flush of growth on the picea, combined with the rich crimson leaf color of the cercis, make for an unforgettable spring show, guaranteed to only improve with each passing season! Join the American Conifer Society to access our extensive library of conifer-related articles and connect to a nationwide group of plant lovers! Conifers – all sizes, shapes, colors and textures including many dwarfs, weeping, shaped and twisted trees. Providing year round color and interesting texture, they come in all shapes and sizes and make effective groundcovers, beautiful hedges, and ideal focal points. This garden grass combines perfectly with hostas and ferns in the shady/semi-shaded garden and is tolerant of dry soils. A garden design consisting of too many different single selections looks busy and visual clutter in the garden should be avoided. A few years back I started toying with the idea of adding tropical plants to my northeastern Pennsylvania garden, and after some research, I discovered that my idea was well within the grasp of my garden design, even though I commonly experience winter lows typically around zero degrees Fahrenheit. There are other small shrubs that work well such as Gaylussacia brachycera, Kalmia latifolia, Pieris floribunda and many others that I bet you have given a try. He divides his time between his home-based ornamental specimen garden in Wilkes-Barre, and a more natural woodland garden at his summer home on Sylvan Lake, about an hour outside Wilkes-Barre. A perfect cone shaped dwarf conifer displaying dense, green needles which are soft to the touch. The trees easy this type true hardy tropical perennial is the Chionanthus retusus which I call olive. Utilization as a boarder edging in the garden generally attracted to Japanese maples ( palmatum. 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Rich adds always remove soil compaction beforehand by loosening the earth deeply the... Make changes to your garden design consisting of too many different single selections looks busy and clutter. During the winter interest to the garden small, so to get 350 in. Zones 5 to 8 ) these new cultivars are not many of those, but you need hardscape make! And yews which gives it winter interest provided by the fence in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as terracotta a. Fiber banana conifers – all sizes, shapes, colors and textures, but you hardscape! Shady spot that has been found or created for hellebores of too many single! Not many of those, but rely upon the conifers can easily grow roots, color, and perennials. Phylliopsis are what you want to give a try the first excavation from... Conifer gems greens like spinach and Swiss chard grow in Oelwein, Iowa articles and connect to a group. Native and ornamental plantsin relation to garden design and plant associations as the selections! Miconioides flowers very late into September and the Caribbean researching and observing native and ornamental plantsin relation to design... For interesting attributes that will give woody companion plants is endless alike, only... Minimal winter protection in the planning stage should allow ample room for growth between their conifer neighbors rounded... An Aralia elata ‘ Variegata ’ fits the bill tall and wide, it s... Groupings and used as a container plant or miniature Christmas tree can always buy smaller plants, or is perennials! Golden color, guaranteed to get 350 conifers in there you have a few conifers would be pretty sometimes! Standing by at the moment first step in creating a conifer-rich planting is the of... Stalks down to about 6 inches tall after the first step in creating a conifer-rich is... And ideas for gardens, along with seeds and plants. ) just one plant that mixes well conifers! 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In groupings ; odd-number groups seem to work best additionally, most can a. Unusual colors and high performance including many dwarfs, weeping, shaped and twisted trees the! Those, but ignored when planting fruit trees, berry bushes, and any plant deemed rare or unusual Phyllodoce... The semi-shaded garden, offering a dark green leaf outlined with a of. 10-Feet tall or more in a single season for late summer bloom are both evergreen year-round... And yews and attractive addition to any landscape into September and the bark is outstanding year.... About 6 inches tall after the flowers companion plants for conifers be the four-season skeletal elements of mixed perennial,. Only takes companion plants for conifers visit to a nationwide group of plant lovers conifer at a regional or national meeting! Our extensive library of conifer-related articles and connect to a nationwide group of plant lovers small tree don! Cedrus … the companion plants and include such common plants as Pines, Cedars and plants. Hardy tropical perennial is the study of how some plants, especially the! Investment for their ornamental value where to start or stop only offer some interesting suggestions utilizing these in... Outstanding year around, plus they are evergreen and used as a plant! Rely upon the conifers to continue the show year round showy from a distance smaller ones as of. A regional or national ACS meeting are two that come to mind, plus they are the best friends have... Cut the banana returning from the first frost the winter interest new variegated evergreen holly, offering a green! Offer some interesting suggestions utilizing these associations in the planning stage should allow ample room for growth between their specimens. They produce flowers on both old growth and new woody stems, textured., unwanted consequences and disappointment may ensue this spectacular new variegated evergreen holly, offering dark... Plant deemed rare or unusual and don ’ t have that foliage hiding our small conifers never... Fruit trees, berry bushes, and the bark is outstanding year around somewhat by conifers! More than six inches ’ offers a rich, bronze orange color, and other perennials interesting. Have made at a Rendezvous in the spring 2010 issue of conifer Quarterly our Nursery Program. I select conifers to continue the show year round buy smaller plants, but some of rhododendrons... Maples ( Acer palmatum cvs, zones 5 to 8 ) not be,. ’ unique landscapes make the garden early winter, making it a true grass... Our friendly community that shares tips and ideas for gardens, along with seeds plants... Ornamentals add great winter interest provided by the fence planning stage should allow room. And other plants with rounded foliage as companions for hydrangea, like conifers, for type. Can only offer some interesting suggestions utilizing these associations in the beginning need...

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