Posts Tagged ‘Planting’

Japanese Umbrella PinePinus flexilisChamaecyparis pisiferaPicea pungenspicea orientalis 'skylands'Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

When space permits, we like to screen views with a mixed evergreen planting, rather than a boring arborvitae hedge. Here’s a list of favorite evergreen trees in more compact sizes. All prefer full sun and grow 10’-20’ unless otherwise noted.

  1. Abies koreana – Korean Fir
  2. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ – Weeping Alaskan Falsecypress – elegant upright leader with weeping branches; tolerates some light shade
  3. Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Filicoides’ &  taller C. pisifera cultivars – unusual, thread-like foliage texture in green and gold
  4. Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwulf’s Pyramid’ – Limber Pine – Soft, airy texture to the white-ribbed needles.
  5. Pinus cembra ‘Glauca’ – Swiss Stone Pine
  6. Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’ – Oriental Spruce – Sexy! Gold needles and purple new cones.
  7. Picea pungens ‘Montgomery’ – Blue Spruce – Classic blue color in a compact size
  8. Picea abies ‘Acrocona’ – Dwarf Norway spruce
  9. Sciadopitys verticillata – Umbrella Pine – thick, shiny needles, grows slowly to 30’
  10. Thuja (arborvitae) – Still has its place. Good for filling in space inexpensively while other plants grow in; remove when others reach mature size.

Need more ideas? Missouri Botanic Garden’s Plant Finder is a great resource for researching plants or developing a plant list based on specific criteria (form, height, sun/shade, hardiness zone, etc.).

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Tree peony

‘High-ranking Official’ Tree Peony (Paeonia suffructicosa)

I had a brief window this afternoon between my last appointment and daycare pick-up, so I paid a visit to Mount Auburn Cemetary in Cambridge.  Opened in 1831, Mount Auburn bills itself as the oldest large-scale, designed landscape in the United States.  It is a great place to see mature specimen trees, and much of the plant material is labeled.  It’s also a quiet oasis right across the river from hectic Boston — this afternoon, all I heard were the cardinals and robins delighting in worms fleeing the moist soil.

Beech with lamiastrum

European beech (Fagus sylvatica) with yellow archangel (lamiastrum)

With their shallow, thirsty roots, beeches are notoriously difficult to plant under.  Lamiastrum can be aggressive to the point of weediness, so this is a match made in heaven.

Landscape scene of mature trees

Purple beech, Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata), and English holly (Ilex aquipernii)

Landscape scene

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) above slope of Russian carpet cypress (Microbiota decussata)

Hardy geranium

Hardy cranesbill (Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’)

Spring blooming landscape

Lilac, azaleas, and native dogwood (Cornus florida) in bloom

Lilac blossoms

Lilac blossoms (Syringa vulgaris)

Azaleas in flower beneath a green Japanese Maple

Azaleas in flower beneath a green Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)

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