Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dwarf Conifers

Iseli Nursery trough garden with dwarf conifers
The Yard, Garden & Patio Show (YGP) has so many great things to offer that, regrettably, I can’t mention them all. But I wanted you to know that the Western Chapter of the American Conifer Society has a booth at YGP. And they are selling dwarf conifers, many from Iseli Nursery, one of the premier wholesale conifer growers in the country and perhaps the world. I have more than two dozen conifer varieties in my yard, from gigantic Sequoia giganteum to a six-inch fir and everything in between. Many of the dwarf varieties I have I’ve purchased over the years from the conifer society at YGP.

Conifers grow well in containers and add year-round interest to the garden. Most have evergreen needles (a bit of a misnomer because most shed some needles annually) and many offer intriguing cones of all shapes and colors (some are fleshy and look more like berries than cones, such as the cone of the Yew). A few shed all needles every year (think Dawn Redwood and Larch). They’re a fascinating group of plants.

Dwarf fir
The Conifer Society is raising funds to expand the conifer garden at The Oregon Garden. So help diversify and beautify your garden while helping the Conifer Society showcase the almost infinite variety of conifers to Oregon Garden visitors. You’ll also see amazing conifir varieties in the Curiously Cool Plant display, thanks to Garden World (they printed a booklet that tells the story of each plant in the display). Lucy Hardiman, garden designer, YGP speaker and plant guru extraordinaire was oohing and ahhing about some of the plants that will be in the display just the other day!

If YGP doesn’t get you excited about conifers, I can’t image what will! I’m hooked!!!!!


  1. What are the plants in the trough garden that you picture?

  2. Hey, I know that container - it's in the Iseli display garden. The larger plant toward the top of the frame is Pinus parviflora 'Goldilocks', then moving clockwise the small, green, tight foliaged bun is one of the evaluator seedlings of Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis' selected for it's extremely slow growth. Next, the fern-like plant is Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Chirimen' (one of this years ACS Conifer of the Year selections), then Juniperus horizontalis 'Mother Lode' is the bright yellow plant spilling over the front of the bowl. The dark broad-leaved plant is Salix boydii. The tiny bright yellow mound is Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Butter Ball' and finally in the center is, Abies koreana 'Cis'.

    Conifer Lover

  3. Thank you, Ed, for the great information! I'm infatuated with the trough gardens at Iseli. The one pictured is a newer one. Some of the more established troughs include Lewisia and when it's in bloom, they are even more gorgeous.