It’s Time for a Little More Green

It’s Time for a Little More Green

Yesterday in the garden I finally got around to adding more evergreen plants. When the deciduous trees drop their leaves every fall the garden is left bare with very few spots of color. The blank slate of yard we inherited over four years ago has grown and matured every year but there has always been the notable lack of evergreen foliage. Maybe that’s because evergreens aren’t as interesting when all those other plants are blooming or putting on fancy foliage in the spring and summer. In the winter evergreens take the stage like no other garden residents. Perhaps my main reason for not adding more evergreens is that they can be pricy.  The small ones aren’t bad at all but to get a plant of any size you can expect to pay upwards of $40-$50 per plant. That’s why when my neighbor offered to let me have some of the evergreens he was removing I said “sure!”

My neighbor is a landscaper who installs quite a few plants and trees for various clients.  Two of the plants he was removing had just grown to big for the location.  Two others were part of a group of five where three had died.  This summer wasn’t a kind one to many arborvitae.  The fifth plant he was removing was a ‘Black Dragon’ cryptomeria which had an unfortunate infestation of bagworms.   Four of the evergreens I planted in the back of the yard near the shed.

This arborvitae and the one on the left edge of the picture are two parts of a puzzle.  This corner is only part shade but becomes more shady each year.  Behind the arborvitae there is a circle where some future hydrangeas may fund a home.  

These junipers have beautiful foliage but I’m not sure they will survive since the root balls were small in proportion to the tree.  The junipers are about 6′-7′ tall now with root balls less than 18″ in diameter.  Some creative staking was required.  When removing and transplanting shrubs and trees always try to get as much of the root ball as possible.  I’ll be out taking cuttings of these two plants very soon, just in case they don’t make it.  In between the two evergreens are two evergreen rhododendrons that are about knee high.  I’m attempting to build a privacy screen along our back property line.

I’m excited about this Cryptomeria japonica even though its appearance may not be so great at the moment. I pulled off a dozen bagworms and pruned off a bit of the dead growth. Bagworms can do a lot of damage very quickly but this plant should recover.  I planted the ‘Black Dragon’ cryptomeria near a Yoshino Cherry and a ‘Crimson Queen’ weeping Japanese maple (Acer dissectum) I bought over the weekend.  This garden is fast becoming a Japanese garden!  

What evergreens do you recommend planting?


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Good luck with the 'Black Dragon'. It's shape and texture are stunning.

  2. I too have found that in this zone evergreens are a must. I need the "green" thing in Winter. There are a lot of sculptural elements here at the Gardens at Waters East, but green does so much for the overall Winter life of this garden. Can't imagine not having them along with all the branches of the deciduous plants. Jack

  3. That 'Black Dragon' is quite the designer shrub and very pricey all on its own. What a deal. I think it probably came with bagworms from the nursery and since you picked them off I bet it will do quite well now.

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