Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Don't worry, life gets in the way of our best laid plans sometimes. With Spring on the verge of springing, time is going to be even harder to come by. I need to get out and take a few photos, too, but not of good looking plants, but rather of the plants the bunnies destroyed. A couple I'm going to see if they recover, but a good many of them just need to be removed. I am going to put 4' fences around everything next winter. Damn bunnies!
Mike, funny that you mention bunnies! I have a small green wire fence around the perimeter of my yard to keep bunnies out. It worked well this past winter. The little baby bunnies can still get through it in the spring, but they don't do nearly the damage as the older ones. As promised, here are pictures! Several weeks late, but better late than never!
Here is my small pond (270 gallons) we installed in fall 2009. I found the granite millstone a few weeks ago and it seemed like a perfect fit. Conifers from left clockwise are Picea glauca 'Blue Wonder' (not sure if this will be permanent, it did get winter burned quite a bit this year and the backside was stepped on during the pond installation), Picea abies 'Formanek' (one of my top five favorites conifers in my garden, though it struggled the first year and lost a lot of needles) and Pinus sylvestris 'Pixie' (lovely little guy).
Picture number two, part of my front yard on the opposite side of the driveway as the pond conifer garden. Lower left is Pinus parviflora 'Ara kawa' and upper right center is Picea abies 'Witches Brood'. Both of these are well behaved and have a lot of character. 'Ara kawa' dealt remarkably well with the heavy snowfall the past three winters without complaints! Upper right behind 'Ara kawa' is Pinus parviflora 'Hagarumo' which may be my favorite conifer in the garden. It has a look of mischief and wisdom that reminds me of my female corgi Penny. As you might have guessed from the sculptures, I have two corgis and a collie.
Furin hang from one of the established conifers in our yard (unknown tree). The furin are small Japanese garden bells that catch the slightest breeze to sing like fairies. I have 14 furin in my yard, 7 in two different trees.
Picea abies 'Tompa' which is also located in the conifer garden with the pond. This fabulous slow growing Picea remains a deep dark green all year. It is in morning sun and afternoon shade. It was an impulse "end of the season clearance" purchase and fits perfectly in a spot that was previously bare.
Picea orientalis 'Tom Thumb', a witch's broom from 'Skylands' that causes trouble for many people. It is very happy in high shade with some direct sun for 2-3 hours a day. The understock is still attached, which makes for a funny look. I plan on leaving the understock on for at least one more year, as I've been told that it needs to stay on for three years. It will be a small miracle if this 'Tom Thumb' grows an inch a year! Absolutely lovely and puts a smile on my face every time I see it.
Pinus flexilis 'Cesarini Blue' in a container. I live in zone 5a and last year decided to keep a few zone 4 and hardier cultivars potted, then overwintered them in an ancient, drafty, unheated detached garage. 'Cesarini Blue' is technically zone 3 hardy and came through the winter just fine. The squirrels will not leave the container alone and I need to purchase some sharp chicken grit from the farm store to top dress.
'Cesarini Blue' really is very blue, with soft needles.
Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst' getting ready to put forth vibrant new candles in a few weeks. This tree has a very special place in my heart. In May 2009 my husband drove me to the airport and I remember seeing this beauty in full color outside of a garden center near our house. A few weeks before I had stopped by and admired the tree, its price tag was was way over my budget. After I returned in mid June from the business trip, the tree was no longer in front of the garden center and I assumed someone very, very lucky had purchased it. In fall I returned to the garden center when they began their annual 30% off clearance sale. I wasn't paying attention and pretty much ran smack into this 'Taylor's Sunburst'! I purchased it and the store employee dropped it when he was trying to load it into my truck. Amazingly, there was not a branch bent, just a few needles lost. I got it home, ripped the ragged out of control Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree out, planted 'Taylor's Sunburst' and began waiting for spring
Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag,' another conifer with a fun story behind it. Hubby Andy and I were on our way to a holiday potluck hosted by a fellow gardener from our regular group. We stopped at an Earl May to buy ornaments for the ornament exchange. Outside looking sad under a pile of snow was this 'Blue Shag'. I asked an employee inside if there was any specials on remaining outdoor plants and she said "You can have anything you want for half off."
'Blue Shag' sat patiently in the back of our truck through the potluck, then all winter in our unheated detached garage. I visited the garage at least once a week to touch the soft green needles. In spring 2009 I planted it when the soil was thawed enough to dig a hole and it has been very happy in its spot since then! The name is a bit of a misnomer as 'Blue Shag' is not very blue at all, even though I have it planted in part-shade. It is a fantastic garden plant, though! One of my neighbors comes over regularly to visit my conifers and she always admires 'Blue Shag.'
Last picture for now! This is Pinus strobus 'Niagara Falls,' which was also an American Conifer Society 2009 purchase. I potted and overwintered 'Niagara Falls' in our unheated back porch and it seemed to do just fine. The needles are very soft and the branches droop beautifully, but I would worry about planting this outside in my zone as it doesn't look strong enough to handle the snow loads that we get. For as long as I can, I will keep it potted. 'Niagara Falls' put on about three inches of growth last year so I think I can keep it potted for a number of years. I will need to trim the roots and repot it with new soil in the fall.
'Cesarini Blue' is gorgeous! I've been having lots of problems with my conifers this year! I'm not sure how many of the ones I planted last year is going to make it, the bottoms look really brown. I put antidessicant and burlap around them and watered the heck out of them whenever I could but they still did not do well :(.
Minneapolis, MN; Zone 4a aka treelover3 @ Dave's Garden
Great photos, Elizabeth!
I have a Pinus parviflora 'Hagaromo', also, and it is one of my favorite pines. My Pinus parviflora 'Hagaromo' is growing too close to a Pinus mugo "Teeny' and I need to dig the 'Teeny' out so the Pinus parviflora 'Hagaromo' can keep growing unhindered.
I moved a Larix decidua cultivar, on a standard, from my backyard to my front yard and I also removed an Abies concolor 'Gable's Weeping', a Pinus ponderosa seedling grown from a broom that was getting too big and a 'Helmond Pillar' barberry and they were thrown in the compost bin. I have a bunch of plants that will remain smaller and need to get them planted in the next week or so. I have one more plant to dig up before I can start planting. (An Acer japonicum).