Don't Forget About the Evergreens!

In our haste to welcome the new gardening season many gardeners only think of the flowers beginning to bloom. The flower buds and blooms sure are interesting but why not take a look at the evergreens? Our collection of evergreens is relatively small but here are a couple that we have in our garden that are showing some nice color: the Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), the Bird's Nest Spruce (Picea abies 'Nidiformis'), and a yew (Taxus x media 'densiformis').

Below is a picture of the Canadian Hemlock's foliage. The bright green really stands out against the foliage of the previous year. There are four hemlocks in our yard that form a hedge row, at least they will as they grow. I spaced them about 5-6 feet apart to create a privacy screen. I really like the feathery evergreen foliage. Hemlocks are great trees, unfortunately the hemlock woolly adelgid likes them also and is attacking them in the Smokies. Here is some information on the woolly adelgid from Pennsylvania's Department of Forestry.


The bright green leaves of the Bird's Nest spruce appear soft, fresh, and very touchable. It's a slow grower that reaches three to five feet tall and up to six feet wide. We kept this little plant in a pot for awhile until we moved into our house and now it's in the front garden. It will take it a long time to reach those dimensions, if I let it.



Another evergreen that is showing its fresh greenery is our yew (Taxus x media 'densiformis') . It's also known as a spreading yew. It will grow up to four feet tall and has a width up to six feet. It's primarily used as a foundation planting. Ours five yews are small ones that I purchased for about $2 each. They were frost damaged but all that was needed was some careful pruning and now they have green growth everywhere. One word of warning about yews, they can be very poisonous. If you have a pet or small child that could potentially eat the foliage you may want to steer clear. As long as it isn't ingested it's a great plant!


Here is the yew with some new growth beginning to show. What evergreens are greening up your garden?

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