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Choosing the right Conifer for your Garden

Conifers are a great addition to any garden, and are no longer the trees that everyone planted in the 70s that then grew too large and took over the garden. 

Why choose a Conifer - There are many different species and sizes to choose from.  

They provide reliable shelter for birds, great colour and texture all year-round  in the garden and are mostly maintenance-free and evergreen. There are many species that are miniatures versions of the older larger trees, you can now  pick from a large range of dwarf varieties.  Many of these are really just slow growing conifers.  So, they will eventually get larger in 20 or 30 years, but will stay compact in the shorter term so are classified as dwarf. 

 

Structure and a focal point 

As you would do when choosing a tree, it is important that you look at the final size and growing time of your conifer, so you can pick the right size for your garden. 

Larger conifers are ideal  for creating a natural hedge or boundary from a neighbour and provide a great nesting environment for birds and wildlife. 

The dwarf varieties are ideal for creating lower level interest in a garden or a rockery area.  There are many lower level compact varieties ideal for ground cover that will give you interest all year around. Choose different colours and textures to create interest and layers. 

You can use Conifers to create different styles of planting in your gardens, from oriental to woodland or as we have seen at the Chelsea Flower Show over the last couple of years.  Designers have been using them in gravel or dry bed gardens, to create height and impact. 

 

What style is right for me? 

Some conifers will produce cones for added interest and come in a variety of shades or lush greens and blue tones. 

You really can have fun when picking a conifer as you can get conifers that have unusal foliage like the Thuja Whipcord that has threads of green that look like hair, or the Pinus Mungo Hoersholm that has yellow tips and pinecones, both are ideal for a smaller display. 

 

Ideal for pots or balconies 

Smaller conifers are ideal for pots or window boxes to give you colour all year around. They can provide height and interest and be planted with annual plants for a seasonal change. Conifers are also easy to look after and very low maintenance making them ideal for the novice gardener. 

 

 

Some of our favourites are; 

Picea Glauca - Lilliput

Beautiful spring growth , ideal for the smaller garden, slow growing and suitable for all soil type.

 

 

Thujopsis Dolbrata - Aurea 

Golden yellow foliage, grows about 8 - 12 cm a year ideal for a modern garden and any soil type. 

 

 

Pinus Thunbergii - Banshoho 

Rich emerald green needles, moderate growth 5 - 10 cm a year, small cone tips. 

 

Juniperus Squamata - Blue Star 

Stunning blue foliage, perfect for a smaller garden or pot, slow growth 4 - 8 cm per year.