Ah! The Winter’s Blush! Is there another plant family that delivers as much fun as the Conifer family? Did you know that conifers are among the oldest trees on this earth? This plant family is the largest of plant families and it also has the smallest and the largest of trees too. There is something for just about any climate or situation in this group – and we remain smitten with them for our gardening in miniature. Come, follow me on a short but pretty romp through their Winter’s Blush this season. A treat for the eyes and the soul, indeed!
The First Encounter
When I first started this miniature garden business over 20 years ago, it wasn’t cold enough in Seattle for the conifers to do their winter blush. I had just started studying this group of plants so, it wasn’t until couple of years later, when I had to order my trees early to get them ready for a garden show here in Seattle, that I actually saw them in their winter glory.
The trees had come from my grower-of-superb-conifers down in Oregon where it was colder than Seattle that winter. When the order arrived in late January, I opened the boxes and immediately called my representative to ask what-in-the-world I ordered? I had no idea that they turned color in the cold because it never got cold enough in Seattle – or at least it hadn’t since I moved here at that time. I think this was around 2003.
My rep talked me down from the ledge with her frankness, “It’s the conifer blush. They’ll go back to their summer colors when the weather warms up.”
Sweet! What a treat!
So here are a few pictures of some of the more dramatic-colored trees in my miniature nursery this year. After a freeze and a bit of snow here in the Emerald City of Seattle, that distinct winter blush still delights and surprises me – just when I need it most: in the middle of winter.
Conifers are really a treat to grow, not only are they really hardy, slow-growing and evergreen, but they can add winter interest to your garden or pots too. When the weather warms up in the spring, they will change back to their summer colors.
It’s Not Dead!
A lot of the times, if you don’t know about the conifer’s winter blush, you might think the plant is dying. Here’s a video of more examples and ways to tell if it’s the winter’s blush – or if it is indeed, dying! This link will take you to another blog post with our video here.
Loving Conifers, Since 2001.
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