Famous for the conifer-genus Sequoia, being the world’s tallest living trees, conifers come in all shapes and sizes. From ground covers to being tall and slender or roundly compact, ending all similarities with bearing cones and colourful, needle-like foliage. They give new meaning to the word landscaping, are wonderfully fuss-free and attractive throughout the year. Plant them where you like, for whatever purpose you like.
Creative, colourful and convenient – not necessarily the first three words that would spring to mind if asked to describe a conifer. Yet the modern day conifer is great to enjoy all year round. Conifers come in a vast range of colours and many change shade during the year. Careful choice can give you a great splash of colour in autumn and winter when most other plants are dormant. Because they are evergreen (i.e. do not loose their leaves) often with strong shapes, conifers are perfect for bringing shape, height and form to your garden.
Use conifers to:
- Act as a backdrop to perennials, bulbs and annuals.
- Form a stand-alone feature in the garden.
- Give height to borders.
- Form wonderful shapes in any garden.
Once you know where you want to add your conifer in the garden, you need to the choose the right type, whether it be for structure, style or as a focal point, eg. Columnar – tall and narrow, cylindrical /Pyramidal – narrow at the top, wide at the bottom /Globose – spherical, bun shaped /Dwarfs – tiny conifers which reach a height of three feet.
Conifers come in all shapes and sizes from dwarf conifers for containers and pots to conifers that can be used for screening and structure as a well established hedge. Containers grown conifers are a particularly good idea for year round colour on patios and useful with winter and early spring flowerers, which can then be swapped for summer annuals.
Conifers are excellent planted by water features as the strong shapes of their foliage make wonderful reflections in the water and they don’t lose their leaves into it! In the rockery, dwarf and prostrate conifers both have a place, particularly as they provide good weed cover and have so many varieties of shape and colour.