Not Just for Berries
So, perhaps everybody knows that berry bushes tend to love acidic soil, especially blueberries, and the No. 1 way we’re told to acidify the soil is to add pine needles and/or peat moss. Peat’s not terribly sustainable, but pine needles are everywhere around here, so I thought I’d add some to the berry beds, and better still, get some needle-producing pines on the property.
Dwarves, Gold and Blue Beauties
Space is at a premium in our yard, especially for anything that doesn’t bear fruit or food, so dwarf varieties seemed a good placate start. We have the further constraint of a Black Walnut tree in the back yard that poisons the soil for many evergreens (and other plants, too) by secreting allelopathic juglone from it’s roots. But the Virginia Scrub pine shrugs it off—whoop, whoop!
While searching for dwarf pines, I came across Kigi Nursery in Washington, specializing in conifers that are “Rare, Weeping, Dwarf and Miniature, Deep Striking Colors, [and] Whimsical Textures.” Their trees are sculptural, architectural with so many colors and textures I didn’t know were possible. I felt an immediate pull from these trees, and they look cool all year long with brilliant golds and dazzling blues even in winter. I was sold in seconds.
I purchased six small conifers over the summer and having had them potted up for most of the time since then, yesterday I put two of them in the ground and will place the rest over the weekend.
What Went Where
I planted both our cedars: a Feelin’ Blue Weeping Himalayan Cedar, (Cedrus deodara, ‘Feelin’ Blue’) which should top out at an adorable 3’, and a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, (Cedrus atlantica, ‘Glauca Pendula’) which should have an amazing habit and a height of 14’ within a decade.
The Atlas Cedar will, in time, form part of a screen in our front yard that’ll be both tall and broad if I can train it properly. The Weeping Himalayan meanwhile is tucked beside a rock next to the front yard Olive guild because the textures are complimentary and the needles will be close to several berry bushes.
Still to plant are a Golden Scrub Pine which looks awesome and goes in the back yard because Pinus virginiana can handle the Walnut!; a dwarf Japanese White pine that looks bonsai beautiful already; a dwarf Golden Scot’s Pine and a ‘Thunderhead’ Japanese Black Pine, both of which beg to be touched with their textures.
Not only do I have a good idea where the remaining trees will go, but I’ve got my eye on some new ones! Weeping Sequoia anyone?
Gardening is Good!