Tag Archives: 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.

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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.

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I pulled out my trusty craft paints.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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’

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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’

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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’

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Cham obtusa `Cream Tart’

cream tart

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

Larix kaempferi `Bambino’

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

Picea pungens `The Blues’

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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!

Fresh Start- Garden Inspirations and Weathering the Cold Spells

I always look forward to the beginning of a new year. There is something really exciting about a fresh start. I specifically find the month of January to be a great time to look forward and think about all the things I want to accomplish throughout the year. I know the thought of planning out the entire year can seem really daunting, but when it comes to setting goals it is really helpful!

Nothing brings me more joy than spending time outside with my family.  There is something magical about planning, planting and then finally enjoying our outdoor spaces.  Spending long summer days in the garden are my favorites and this year I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to joys of gardening and watching things grow.

There is no better place to collect ideas and dream a little bit than on Pinterest. So, here are some things that are inspiring me for 2014:

Playing ‘dress up’ with my yard. One big trend this year is incorporating everything from decorative throw pillows to decorative insect traps and shabby-chic mason jar humming bird feeders. Who wouldn’t want their yard to have a ‘personal stamp’ on it?

A sweet looking Fairy Garden, in a planter that my Mom and I love:

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Of course, we would have to fill it up with gorgeous and fun dwarf and miniature conifers. This set would be perfect and is a collection especially for Fairy Gardening!

Fairy Gardening Collection of Dwarf and Miniature Conifers

I love the Thuja occ`Amber Glow’ ( a mini arborvitae) and Cham lawsoniana `Ellwood’s Nymph’ (a mini Port Orford cedar)  that come in this box. Can’t wait to get started on this project!

A Fun DIY project for later this season:

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We are looking to work on expanding our deck and this is a beautiful example of planters incorporated into the deck.

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However, in order to get to warmer weather, many of us have to endure severe temperatures and bone-chilling conditions this week. Just a small reminder- don’t forget about your plants!

Here are some cold weather tips for your dwarf and miniature conifers:

–       Dehydration- This is a problem for plants too! They lose moisture and will need a good watering after the cold spell breaks.  Just tread lightly, if you think there may be root damage, don’t over do it. You don’t want  over watering to cause rotting.

–       Root Temperature- If you have dwarf or miniature conifers, consider bringing containers inside into a garage if possible. Light is not necessary, just aim to protect the roots from the cold. In some cases, when you bring plants indoors, you might also need to worry about critters getting into them too. Its amazing what creatures turn up when the weather turns nasty.

–       Wind Damage- Wind is drying and causes dehydration. It will also burn foliage up. If you can’t move things, consider trying to shield them.

What are some of your 2014 inspirations? Any tried and tested cold weather tips? I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying a Happy New Year!

Tutorial- Holiday Trimmings for your Miniature and Dwarf Conifer Gardens

There is no way to escape it- the holiday season is upon us.  It seems like everywhere you turn these days there are santas, ornaments and holiday trimmings as far as the eye can see.  I’m always looking for a cute craft to help me embrace the season before the carols overtake the radio and the mood turns from delightful to slightly frenzied.

When I was browsing Pinterest the other day, I found this adorable little craft that I thought would be great for my small patio container. I like to move my patio container from my back porch onto my front porch as soon as I put my wreath up in December. It is fun to find new ways to incorporate my miniature and dwarf conifers into my decorations each year.  I try to put extra effort into my front porch and I always get complements on my decorations.  Last year my Father-in-law found some adorable little holiday critters to adorn my container. This year, I thought I would surprise him with some of these little beauties!

For the tutorial on how to make the reindeer, I followed this blog. Here is the pin where I found it.  Finally, here is how my little reindeer project turned out. It was very easy and it only took me about 10 minutes to make both Reindeer.  Wouldn’t it be so fun to have these guys around a mini railroad set at the holidays? These mini conifers make this adorable.

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For fun, here is a photo of the container from last year.  The mini snowmen and nutcrackers came from Walgreens, of all places. They have a great selection at really reasonable prices.

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For anyone who is interested, here is a list of the plants in my container. Clockwise from top left:

Cryptomeria japonica`Tansu`
Juniperus communis `Compressa`,
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana `Treasure Island`,
Cryptomeria japonica `Tenzan`,
Juniperus horaizontalis `Blue Pygmy`

How are you getting ready for the holidays? Are you using dwarf and miniature conifers in your preparations?

Tutorial: Updated Container Gardening

While browsing my latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens, I came upon an article on “What’s Hot” in Container Gardening. Right now, monochromatic plant combinations are in! Blend foliage in similar hues but mix in shapes, sizes and textures for interest.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, fall and winter can be drab times. Take hold of the last bit of nice weather and use this as the perfect way to update your containers for the season. All you need are some cute little dwarf and miniature conifers in rich hues to keep things cheery and fresh throughout the coming season.

When you are searching for the perfect plants for your update, consider these helpful tips:

Add texture.  Abies koreana `Blauer Eskimo’ is a miniature, blue, globe form of Korean Fir. The spiny texture adds dimension to your garden.  Very hardy, and growing just one inch a year makes it a perfect plant for rock gardens or troughs.

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Do more with a column or spire.  Height adds drama and makes any freshly planted container look more complete. A great choice is Juniperus communis `Compressa’.  This is the best columnar plant for trough or rock gardens. It has silvery-blue foliage on a tight, columnar arrow.

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Variegated colors. Staying in the same color family, but adding a little variation will complete the look.  Each of these plants has a silver-blue hue to them. Picea glauca `Blue Planet’ is a miniature Alberta Spruce. It might be just a tight little compact ball, but its showstopper leaves have tiny little buds and steel-blue foliage. This plant is a miniature and in three years it will only be the size of a quarter.

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Each example above has a blue hue to it. There are many color choices for dwarf and miniature conifers, head to your local garden center for more information.

One last handy tip: plant in odd numbers for the most visually appealing arrangement. Groups of 3, 5 or 7 will be the most pleasing!  Try 2 textures, 2 variegated colors and a spire for a well-rounded container.

Keep posted here for more tips on how to transition these containers through the holiday season and into spring.