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Keep Your Winter Green with Conifers

Winter weather may be dreary, but your landscape doesn’t have to be. Cone-bearing trees and shrubs, known as conifers, can transform landscapes from ordinary to extraordinary with their assortment of sizes, shapes and textures. Conifers come in a variety of colors including green, yellow, blue, orange and purple. Some conifers are lacey; while others have rigid needles. Conifers that are hardy in the Hampton Roads area include: juniper, arborvitae, yews, hemlock, false cypress, and of course, pine, fir, and spruce.

Homeowners like conifers for their ease of maintenance and, of course, for their year-round appeal. And, these evergreens also work well with many other plants. Bottom line, conifers add intrigue to the winter garden and bridge the seasons with color.

Here's few of our top conifer selections perfect for your winter garden and beyond:

Jeans Dilly Spruce - is a narrow, upright, evergreen that grows approximately 2-4 inches per year, reaching about 4 feet tall at maturity, and seldom growing over 5 feet tall. It forms a perfect cone shape and keeps its shape over time. Jean's Dilly Spruce has green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The needles remain green through the winter and are distinctively twisted at the ends of the shoots. This evergreen does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. Jean Dilly is ideal for foundation plantings, rock gardens or borders. Its slow growth rate also makes it an interesting container selection.

Whipcord Arborvitae - is a unique evergreen shrub with a most unusual shape and texture. Whipcord has thick glossy tendrils and a distinctive cord-like texture. Gracefully arching downward, the cascading branches provide an interesting shape for the landscape. In the winter it will have a warm bronze hue. It is slow growing in a multi-branch globe shaped mound. Plant in full sun for top performance. Try planting alone as a specimen plant, add to your landscape planted near perennials or annuals, or even plant in a container for your porch or patio. This beauty is also deer resistant.

Japanese Yew (False Yew) - is a low-maintenance, upright evergreen shrub that will add color and height to any landscape or winter container. This multi-stemmed evergreen will provide brilliant green foliage all winter turning a more bluish-green come spring. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture making it a great accent feature. Perfect when paired with cool weather annuals like, Pansies and Dusty Miller and trailing Vinca. Yew is so easy to maintain, performing well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water, so ensure that there is adequate drainage when planted in a container. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats.

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