From massive forest giants to miniscule mounds of elegant foliage, the Conifer family contains a wide variety. The name "conifer" comes from Latin and means "to bear cones." Although cones are a common feature of most conifers, Junipers and Yews are two exceptions that produce berry-like fruit, which, in the case of Juniper berries, are used to make the G part of the G&T!
Among the conifers are some of the smallest, largest and oldest living woody plants known. The more than 500 conifer species are distributed worldwide and are invaluable for their timber as well as their adaptability as garden plants for year-round interest.
The diversity of available conifers for the landscape is tremendous. Nurseries and plants people are devoted to the discovery and introduction of new selections that vary in size, form, color and texture. There has been special interest in the group of conifers classified as "dwarf conifers." One definition of a dwarf conifer is one that fails to attain the size and stature of the parent plant. These smaller growing varieties are invaluable in the smaller space garden designs.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
The form most commonly associated with conifers is the familiar conical shape of Christmas trees; yet, for the landscape, the range varies from the vertical form of tall columnar plants, globose or rounded forms, spreading forms and the horizontal forms of flat ground covers.
Garden conifers come in a rainbow of year-round colours that can be used effectively in creating colour schemes with other plants. Many are shades of green, yellow, orange, blue, lavender, grey or purple, while others are bicolor and have variegated foliage.
Many go through seasonal color changes and provide interest in the winter landscape. In the spring, lighter shades of new growth contrast against the darker older foliage. In some cases, new growth emerges not just as a lighter shade but as a bright yellow or red, rivaling any floral display. Some even display two colors of needles. On other conifers, the cones and seed-bearing fruits are brightly colored and decorative during certain seasons of the year.
The landscape uses are limited only by the imagination. The strong silhouettes of many compact, slow-growing conifers can accent a corner of a garden bed, frame a doorway or add winter interest to perennial and annual flower beds.
Use conifers in foundation plantings, borders or island beds with other shrubs. Plant a mixture of different conifers, blending the various textures, shapes and colors, for a unique low-maintenance landscape.
Use large specimens amid expansive lawns and miniature specimens to view up close in containers, troughs or rock gardens. Don't forget that conifers are also stalwart hedging and windbreak plants.
The natural growth pattern of a normal or dwarf evergreen is a large part of its charm. Some evergreens can be severely pruned while others will respond to light pruning.
NZ's iconic native conifer. Slow growing but well worth the wait for the tree to mature into its stately form. When juvenile the foliage tends to have copper bronze tones but as the tree ages green is the more dominant colour. One to plant for your grand children! Est.10yr.growth.
Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 2.5m
Agathis Australis - Kauri
New stock expected Beginning of September, 2022. Pre-order now. Estimated price $34.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
A wonderful upright conifer with even tiers of branches around the central trunk. Quick growing and tolerant of coastal conditions where it will happily withstand salt laden winds. Not tolerant of harsh frost or wet feet. Will grow in a container. Looks good as a Christmas Tree. Evergreen.
Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 10m x 5m
Indian Cedar. This Conifer will grow into a handsome majestic tree if allowed the space to mature. Upright and pyramidal in shape it has evenly spaced branches draped with blue-grey needles of foliage. The branches are slightly pendulous at the tips. Lovely as a potted Xmas tree. Plant in the sun. Evergreen.
A slow growing, pyramidal conifer with vivid blue grey foliage that shows its best colours in winter but the colour is impressive at other times of the year too. Great contrast among low growing foliage plants. Evergreen
Japanese Cedar. A fast growing and robust Conifer that is useful for screens and shelter belts and highly valued in the Orient as a timber tree. Forms a stately pyramidal tree if left untrimmed with curved needle foliage in green and bronze tones. Evergreen.
Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 11m x 6m
Current Stock Height: 220/250 cm ?
Container: Hessian ?
New stock expected Beginning of August, 2023. Pre-order now. Estimated price $12.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Exceptionally vigorous and hardy, tolerant of wind even salt laden, quick growing and a classic pyramidal shape. Short curved needles of evergreen foliage and a straight trunk with reddish bark. A very useful Conifer.
A selected form introduced and registered to Cedar Lodge of Taranaki.
Habit: Pyramidal Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 25m x 15m
A very fast growing 'Leylandii' type Conifer which is tough and hardy with excellent disease resistance. A top hedging or shelter plant. The green foliage clips well. Will grow almost anywhere. Evergreen
A highly ornamental and architectural conifer that has a natural spreading and mounding shape. Slow growing with attractive blue-green foliage. Prefers a sunny spot but quite hardy and tolerant. Give this feature plant room to develop - looks very striking when mature.
Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 3m
This groundcover with smoky blue-green foliage looks great year-round. Thrives in hot, dry locations where other plants might fail. Slow growing, low maintenance, disease free and very easy to grow.Cold weather gives the foliage a plum colored cast. Evergreen
Habit: Groundcover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 240cm