Monday, December 16, 2013

Golden Conifers For A Winter Glow

Golden conifers can be garden "contributors" every day of the year by offering a wide range of gold,  yellow and chartreuse tones to the landscape.  It's important to note that some golden conifers get their peak coloration in late fall well in to the winter months and later become chartreuse or green the following spring.  Above is the 'Chief Joseph' golden lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) which has superior color in winter through early spring.  In essence, be aware of the best golden coloration in regards to seasonal timing.  There are other selections that get peak yellow tones in spring with new growth (later fading) and some deciduous conifers like larches (Larix) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) offer their golden coloration as a fall color that is gone when the needles drop in mid fall.  The selections included in this blog all have a decent winter gold/yellow which can certainly brighten any dreary landscape.  Understand that the intensity of gold may vary from year to year, based on health and/or location and is certainly subjective in regards to visual appreciation.  I would agree that some golden conifers look "sickly" but ultimately, you as the gardener can select those that you prefer.  Keep in mind that the winter landscape should also feature ornamental grasses, ornamental bark, colorful berries and other features and plants offering color and form.  Golden conifers should certainly be considered as part of your palette though!

Today was quiet around the Horticulture Center.  It was frigidly cold this morning with a wind chill of -3 degrees F this morning.  We have a chance for some snow overnight which should help refresh the look of the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) which had a strong showing this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  There are still nine more nights of the HLS so check out our website ( for more information on this event.  Due to the cold, no one headed out in the gardens but we had some action at the Horticulture Center.  Vern, Jim and Dave worked on carpentry projects while Del and Dr. Gredler did more container painting.  Doc came back for round two in the afternoon.  Maury ran multiple errands for us and Chuck S. was in for some recycling tasks.  Pat helped repair some lights and worked on some other projects as well. We also saw Big John, Gary, Bill O. and I had a nice visit with Kathy H. (Jenka Blossom).  I'm continuing my progress on perusing catalogs and preparing for 2014.  

'Carsten's Wintergold' mugo pine (Pinus mugo)
'Gold Coin' Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
'Golden Mops' falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
'Sungold' falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
'Lemon Thread' falsecypress (Chamaecyperis pisifera)
'Golden Spreader' Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana)
'Aurea' golden Korean fir (Abies koreana)
'Repens Gold' bird's nest spruce (Picea abies)
'Wate's Golden' Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) in November
'Wate's Golden' Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) in January
'Hillside Winter Gold' white pine (Pinus strobus)
'Golden Splendor' Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
'Aurescens' golden Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) - marginally hardy
'Skylands' Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis)
close-up of above
'Saybrook Gold' Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis)
close-up of above
'Gold Lace' Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis)
'Yellow Ribbon' arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
'Holmstrup Yellow' arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
'Rheingold' arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

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