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Conifers Should Come First

Instead of adding them as an afterthought, let evergreens drive the design

Fine Gardening – Issue 172

When we first bought our house in 2000, I was pregnant. The previous owner had no interest in the garden. Since there was almost nothing planted, I just threw a few perennials in to fill space. As I spent the first winter inside caring for my baby and looking out the windows, I realized that I was staring at soil in most places and found it pretty depressing. I wanted a more permanent garden that wouldn’t totally disappear in the winter months.

Don’t always relegate the tall guys to the back. Columnar conifers scattered throughout the beds serve as focal points, especially if the surrounding plants are kept low.

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a lush, year-round garden. So I guess it’s no surprise that as an adult I wanted a similarly abundant landscape—but one that was lower maintenance. To fulfill that wish, I relied…

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  1. HappyNana 11/12/2019

    Fabulous article showing many conifers. However, I believe you need to have space not packed together. Air circulation is needed for the health of the plant. Enjoy the tree or shrub in its full glory. Also, it's easier to check for pests and diseases.

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