Tag Archives: Plant

Gardening with Dwarf Conifers for Mother’s Day

I celebrated my second Mother’s Day this year. Last year we spent the day on a five hour car ride, so this year my sweet Husband offered that we could do whatever I wanted. What I wanted was spend some time outside in my garden.

We decided to change up things in the front yard, so that meant these dwarf conifers were out of a home. We potted them up and then I went to work designing some color spots for the backyard patio.

Backyard Patio Container 2Backyard Container 1

Earlier this year I talked about garden inspirations. I posted that back when it was still just the beginning of winter. So many of us had such a long, cold winter that I could no longer imagine our space as crisp, green and white like I had envisioned. I want color. I want color now! What are some good ways to add color to your garden?

Perhaps we should cover a little color theory.

This is a color wheel:

Color Wheel

It shows all the colors- Primary: Red, Yellow and Blue. Secondary: Green, Violet and Orange. Tertiary: Blue-Violet, Violet-Red, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green, Orange-Yellow, Red-Orange.

How can looking a color wheel help with adding color to your garden? Consider the wheel when looking for pairings. There are a few tried and true schemes that always look great.

  • Monochromatic is when you choose all one color. For example, planting several different plants in one color- like green.
  • You can also go with one color family, like cool (Green, Blue, Violet) or warm(Yellow, Red, Orange).
  • You can pair one color with a neutral like yellow with white.

Or you can use a complementary scheme.

complementary-wheel

These are colors that are opposite on the wheel. They make each other look brighter and bolder when paired together.

So I considered these principles when I planted my pots on my special day!

Here are the final products:

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This pairs green and white with bright pink. White is a neutral that makes the pink and green pop. Pink is a tint of Red (Red mixed with White) and Red is a complement of Green. The dwarf juniper has a silvery color to it that pairs beautifully with this scheme and it works great in containers. I picked out some begonias, snapdragons and dahlias to complement it because they are my favorites.

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Here I planted a different dwarf juniper (‘Gold Cone’) with a yellow color on the leaves.  I added all red, orange and yellow color spots to create a pot that looked like it was on fire. There are more snapdragons, begonias and dahlias as well as a carnation. I can’t wait to see how this looks at the end of the summer.

Did anyone else get to spend some quality time in their garden this last weekend? How are you incorporating color into your outdoor spaces?

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?

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’

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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!

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!

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

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

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

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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.