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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Favorite Plant(s) ...This Week

My favorite plants...this week are three dwarf conifers that came from Lael's Moon Garden, one of the few plant vendors at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show.   While I think that miniature gardens are sweet, I simply can't pull it off in my garden as diminutive plants tend to get lost in my "exuberant" (randomly planted plants jockeying for positions in the sun) plantings.  However, the stairs from our back porch to the garden are fairly narrow but I still like to have some sort of potted plants on either side.  This summer, potted miniature hostas and coleus did the trick but now they are a little, um, dormant or dead.  Enter the dwarf conifers!

First up is Chamaecyparis pisifera 'White Pygmy' which grows one to three inches a year, is hardy to -20 F, and likes sun to partial shade.  Tiny white-tipped, bun-shaped plant.

It maintains it's shape without pruning and will have a more open growth habit in less sunny locations.

Our next contestant is Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Butterball' growing one foot tall by one foot wide in ten years, hardy to - 20 F. I have to include this description from Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery: "Bright, lemony yellow tips give this dwarf, globose Hinoki Cypress a fresh, cheery look. The vivid coloring contrasts beautifully with naturally darker inner foliage. Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Butter Ball' is distinguished by its consistently rounded habit and very dense, slow growth. Use in containers, rock gardens, and evergreen collections."  I'll be looking for opportunities to use the word globose!  Interesting fact:  the American pronunciation is glahb ose (having the shape of a glob?) while the English pronunciation, which is how I thought it was supposed to be pronounced, is globe ose. (having the shape of a globe.)

The third is Athrotaxis cupressoides or Tasmanian Cedar.  I liked the almost succulent look of this and when the nice lady from Lael's said that it was her favorite of the plants that they'd brought, that clinched the deal.

According to the tag, "A small slow-growing upright conifer with rich green foliage similar in appearance to the giant redwood, sequoiadendron giganteum.  Dull sun, well drained soil 5' x 2' in 10 years.  Hardy to 0 degres F."  So far, so good, but the interweb has pictures of this getting huge over a great number of years.  Mine will most likely be in a pot until one of us dies so I don't have to worry about placement in the garden. 


I'm joining with Loree at Danger Garden in posting a favorite plant this week.  Click on over there to see what plant is her favorite this week!  Hope you have a great weekend.  Molbak's is having a 40% off sale on Hellbores but I haven't visited Vashon Island for a long time.  Decisions, decisions.

23 comments:

  1. How fun to buy a collection like this together. I love the look of the Athrotaxis cupressoides, although doing a search to see images of mature specimens cured me.

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    1. It'll take the Athotaxis a long time to get huge so if I just keep it in a pot for the rest of my life, someone else with acres of land can set it free.

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  2. I love hostas as well, but they do nothing for me during the cold season. The diminutive evergreen cuties on the other hand give me year round pleasure. My adoration stops short of naming them: that would be too nutty. You made good picks and you'll enjoy them for a very long time.

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    1. Yes, hostas are beautiful during the growing season but in the winter they are pots of dirt. You should name your dwarf evergreens, that way we can say, "we know this crazy gardener who..."

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  3. Ohh nice lot, and they'll look great in pots!

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  4. Great little permanent pot plants!

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    1. Pot plants? Oh my, no, I don't grow that:)

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  5. They're sweet. The first one is my favorite but none will find a home here as they'd fry in their first summer (if not dying of thirst before then). I wonder if there's such a thing as over-summering plants...

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    1. In some very warm climates, they have greenhouses that are cooled for their collections of exotic plants from far away places like here. You were talking about a greenhouse. Throw in an air conditioner et voila...

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  6. These are absolutely adorable, and I'm sure the perfect plant for your steps! I didn't know there was a difference in pronunciation of globose - which will you go with?

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    1. I assumed and have always said globe ose. It's handy when trying to find words to rhyme with the last name of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

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  7. What a good idea, I'm sure they look very smart climbing your steps and no problems from the slugs and snails!

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    1. Right now they're taking a back seat to the little pots of primroses but they make a nice green backdrop.

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  8. I like the idea of the first one with the unpronouceable ( specially if you have had a glass or 2 of wine) name ..................... ' White Pygmy' in the place of the ubiquitous box balls. If it keeps its shape as it grows and doesn' t get too big I would go for it. Lovely.

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    1. It's also a bit of a slow grower though. I'm all for not having to drag out the hedge clippers several times a year!

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  9. As a huge dwarf conifer fan, I'm delighted by your choices! They'll be so happy to provide a touch of year round cheer for you on your steps.

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    1. I didn't know that about you! Conifers have really grown on me in the last several years. They require little care and look beautiful in all seasons.

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  10. The little rounded forms are cute, they are similar but much smaller than my Bird's Nest Spruce, which keeps up a nice rounded shape in the ground, and also the tiny-leaved round forms of Basil like Pistou, which is cute in a pot.

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    1. Those globose plants are pretty wonderful!

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  11. Tasmanian... Tasman.... This word alerts me! I have Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tasman Ruffles' from Windcliff, and someone told me this beast can grow huge! Watch your little plant, Peter!

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    1. Thanks Tatyana, I'll keep a close eye on that little charmer!

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  12. I just discovered that R has been emptying the cat box in a flower bed. How did I find out? By stepping in a big globose (American pronunciation) gob of goo. I have volunteered to do cat box duty henceforth (clever fellow, that Richard).

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.