Evergreens are amazing in any landscape. They are the work horses of the garden. They perform year round with little maintenance. They provide lush and colorful backgrounds during the blooming cycles. In winter, they become the very heart of the domain. They are reliable and beautiful.
In this article I want to focus on two evergreens that are also conifers. Cones add another dimension of interest to trees like berries or flowers. They can be gathered and used for decoration or display.
The first conifer I would like to introduce you to is the Norwegian spruce with red cones. They are a delight to behold. The rich raspberry-red cones appear on the tips of the branches in early spring. It creates quite a statement especially when seen for the first time. It is said that this unusual coning habit tends to modify the growth of the tree causing it to become wider than tall. You can find them in nurseries as “Picea abies Acrocona.”
I love this spruce so much that I actually have two! I grow these wonderful trees in large pots with full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoons. I showcase them on my patio where I entertain the most. As the cones mature into the warmer months, they become brown and cylinder shaped.
The second conifer which is just as noteworthy as the Red Cone Norway Spruce is the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. My tree has a strong three dimensional curving trunk which in itself is a wonder. The weeping branches create their own majesty. The stiff blue needles add a sharp contrast to the light gray bark. The brown cones are small and upright and add even more interest in the early spring.
These cedars grow well in full sun in our zone 9 area. They do not require good soil and in fact, thrive in poor soil. My tree is even partially planted in my gravel driveway! About every two years I take the lead branch and flip it over on itself directing it in a different direction. I securely tie this in place to the main stake.
This cultivar will probably grow to be about 10 feet tall. You can easily train it to almost any shape you like. It is so versatile and makes a spectacular ornamental tree.
If you are looking for unique specimen trees for your landscape, I hope that you will consider these spectacular spruce and cedar beauties. They are truly beautiful and amazing.
Red Bluff Garden Club Inc. is a member of Cascade District, California Garden Clubs, Inc. and Pacific Region, National Garden Clubs, Inc.