Tag Archives: Dwarf and Miniature Conifers

Spring DIY- Easter Centerpiece

Each year we host an Easter get together for our families, and each year I try to think of new and interesting ways to decorate my table. This year I decided to try a little DIY centerpiece and let that be the focal point of the entire table.

IMG_2526

Here’s how it all came together:

First, I started with a basket that I had laying around from a left over Christmas care package.

IMG_2465

I pulled out my trusty craft paints.

IMG_2466

And I started painting, working my way from the bottom up. I chose a mix of pastels, because it felt very festive.

IMG_2467

IMG_2504

Then I took it outside, added some soil and potted up the plants. First the conifers, then filling in with flowers.

IMG_2505

I used the following plants:

Cham pisifera `Plumosa Compressa Aurea’– a good little color spot to offset the flowers.

Cham thyoides `Little Jamie’– I loved the blue-green leaves that worked in with the colors of my basket.

IMG_2510

I also used a variegated pansy and an impatient, but you can use whatever you like, or has great colors for your basket! Of course, I also tucked in a cute little bunny figure I already had in my holiday décor, but he came from Cost Plus World Market if you’re looking for a source. I also added a plastic egg, because we do an egg hunt for the kiddos.

IMG_2515

This was a really quick little project and already looks great on my dining room table. I plan to move it outside after the holiday, but for now it sits here.

IMG_2523

I think I’m most excited to see how this transitions from ‘one-time use’ to something fun for the patio this summer. What are some other ways of incorporating dwarf and miniature conifers into centerpieces?

Saint Patrick’s Day Fairy Gardens

It is nearly time to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day! Whether you’re a lover of the color green or the Green Isle itself, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Most of all, it is a great time to plant and enjoy a Fairy Garden!

LeprechaunFairyDoor2geo520pg6p123

I pulled together a little history for you:

The Leprechaun – The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.”

Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.

Long since medieval times, mystical fairies have flitted across gardens worldwide. Fairies are magical miniature creatures of good will that bring luck, prosperity, and good health to the chosen few whose garden they inhabit.

Fairy gardeners can surely expect to awaken to mysterious disarray in their gardens after a night of mischievous fairy dancing. Fairies are also symbols of good luck and prosperity. Fairies are often said to dwell in fragrant herb gardens to ensure that herbs will flourish and protect humans from illness, danger and stress. Herb gardens were essential in ancient times as they were sources of medicine and culinary delights.

What a great inspiration to get started on a Fairy Garden celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day! Here are two appropriately named miniature hinoki to get your creative juices flowing:

Cham obtusa ‘Leprechaun’

Chamaecyparis-obtusa-Leprachan-533x400

photo: American Conifer Society

Cham obtuse ‘Stoneham’

Cham Obtusa Stoneham

Consider adding some gold dust or glitter to make it extra special and leave something for all the leprechauns to play around in!

Before I sign off, I wanted to point out the cover of March 2014 Better Homes and Gardens, featuring ‘Wilma Goldcrest’. This dwarf cypress is bright yellow with a green tint and perfect for topiaries and patio containers. No wonder they used it on their cover, it is gorgeous!

BHG March 2014 Page 68

Cupressus macr Wilma Goldcrest

Have a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrating with Dwarf and Miniature Conifers

We’ve been cooped up in the house for the last few weeks due to some uncharacteristically cold weather. Now that the snow has melted, I can truly enjoy one of my favorite holidays- Valentine’s Day.

Here are some appropriately named dwarf and miniature conifers in celebration of Valentine’s Day:

Here’s hoping that everyone has a special someone today.

Abies lasiocarpa `Alpine Beauty’

Alpine Beauty

Some of you might be gifting things like this:

Abies concolor `Blue Sapphir’

BlueSaphir

Cupressus macr. `Fine Gold’

Cupressus MACR Fine Gold

Cham lawsoniana `Treasure’

Treasure

You might be dining at some fine establishments and enjoying some sweet treats.

Cedrus deodara `Creampuff’

Cedrus_deodara_Creampuff

Cham obtusa `Cream Tart’

cream tart

I’ll be celebrating with my little girl. Her first Valentine’s Day!

Larix kaempferi `Bambino’

Larix_kaempferi_Bambino

Above all, hopefully no one has “The Blues”!

Picea pungens `The Blues’

TheBlues

Since we are having more and more cold weather across the country, see here for my cold weather tips for dwarf and miniature conifers.

I hope everyone is enjoying Valentine’s Day!

Miniature Conifers- How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have so much fun planning my gardens and planting dwarf and miniature conifers. I just love picking from the different textures, colors and types. It is so satisfying to see all of my hard work pay off with a beautiful landscape or container.  But sometimes I get lost in the here and now and forget about what things will look like down the road. A big question when I’m working on something new is always “How big will that get?”

So I thought about how to give an accurate account of what things might look like in a few years and I came up with this. The following is a series of photos with real life size comparisons to give you an idea of how big things will become.

I used an Ilex X ‘Rock Garden’ miniature Holly.  This lovely is going to be a part of a gift for my dear Aunt, which I will reveal soon. It will be so sweet with tiny red berries!

Image

By best guesses, it is about 4 years old and currently the size of a tennis ball.

Image

In about 10-12 years it will be the size of a basketball.

Image

Here is a look at how that would fit in a medium to large patio container.

Image

Image

In addition to considering the size of plants and how they grown, here are a few other tips for planting your dwarf and miniature conifers:

–       Don’t plant on flat ground, mounding them will protect them from animals and provide optimal drainage.

–       Use a ground cover like small decorative rocks. This will keep rain from bouncing dirt up on to the leaves.  When this happens the dirt solidifies between leaves and browns things out, which can kill these tiny treasures.

–       Consider using a dwarf in the background for proportion. Dwarfs will grow faster than the miniatures, filling things out. Also consider using miniatures that grow at different rates to keep the container looking mature, even right after planting!

I hope this helps you keep size and proportion in mind while planting your dwarf and miniature conifers.