Ornamental Conifers & Evergreens

Written by debra durkee
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Ornamental Conifers & Evergreens
A winter landscape doesn't have to be boring. (winter image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)

There's no reason for a landscape to look dead and barren during the winter months, but with the addition of some ornamental evergreens and conifers, the yard can remain interesting all year long. It's not just a splash of green that's added by ornamental evergreens. It's easy to find shrubs and trees that add some other colours to what might be an otherwise drab landscape.

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Papoose Sitka Spruce

This dwarf conifer is a ball-shaped shrub that can reach a size of 6 by 6 feet. When young, they naturally grow into the ball shape adding between 2 and 3 feet onto their height and width each year. As they mature, they develop a leader branch that gives them a conical shape and can be trimmed back to maintain the ball shape. The needles of the shrub are bluish-green, tinged with silver. These needles are extremely sharp, though, and care should be taken to place it some distance from where people and pets will be walking. The papoose Sitka spruce does well in cooler climates, thriving in full sun and moist soil.

Springwood Pink Winter Heath

Springwood pink winter heath is a broadleaved evergreen used for groundcover. No more than 12 inches tall, and usually between 6 and 9 inches, it is commonly known as winter heath. Leaves are green with bronze tips and do not change colour with the seasons. Depending on the variety, the winter heath blossoms in the early spring months, or when there is still snow on the ground in late winter. Flowers are bright or fleshy pink. Winter heath does well in cool climates, but benefits from mulch before the winter. Planting the winter heath in a raised flower bed helps achieve the well-drained soil it needs to thrive.

Compressa Juniper

The compressa juniper is a tall, slender conifer with a tapered top. Its shape has earned it common names of the sentinel juniper and the pencil point. Choose this juniper for flanking the sides of doorways, entryways or paths. The compressa juniper will not grow taller than 6 feet and wider than 1 foot. Well suited to a number of different climates, the evergreen has attractive silver-green needles. Easy to grow and low maintenance, the compressa juniper can even be grown as a container tree.

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