Gardening with Conifers

( 2 )

Overview

A complete and highly acclaimed reference.

"Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs."
-Booklist

"I strongly recommend Adrian and Richard Bloom's book to anyone looking for a useful guide to planting and using conifers in their garden."
-American Gardener

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Overview

A complete and highly acclaimed reference.

"Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs."
-Booklist

"I strongly recommend Adrian and Richard Bloom's book to anyone looking for a useful guide to planting and using conifers in their garden."
-American Gardener

This is the complete guide to coniferous trees and shrubs that are available to the North American gardener. Stunning color photographs show conifers used in a variety of environments, from small gardens to magnificent estates.

Gardening with Conifers reveals the unexpected magic that conifers can bring to every garden and the many roles they can play in creating structure and balance for year-round visual interest and color.
Comprehensive in scope and lavishly illustrated, the book includes a directory of more than 600 conifers and offers expert advice on:

  • Size and growth rates
  • Site and soil preferences
  • Planting, maintenance and propagation
  • Pruning, pests and diseases
  • Dwarf conifers and ground covers
  • Conifers in containers, and more.

Gardeners everywhere will find this to be a valuable and inspiring reference.

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Editorial Reviews

Grand Magazine (Kitchener)
Useful information on combining conifers with other plants in the garden and using them as topidary, as well as ... illustrated descriptions of some of the best conifers make this a valuable addition to a gardening library.
Michigan Gardener
A comprehensive guide to the coniferous trees and shrubs available to North American gardeners.
National Gardeners Magazine - Joanne S. Carpender
Adrian Bloom is well known for extraordinary knowledge and use of conifers in the landscape ... The photography is awe-inspiring and shows what can be done with careful planning.
National Post
A labor of obsessive love on the part of Adrian Bloom ... It offers useful advice on the care and propagation of this wide family of evergreens.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Marianne Binetti
The photos in this book prove that evergreens don't have to be green or boring.
Horticulture, Gardening at its Best - Carol Bishop Miller
Competently written, sensibly organized, and exquisitely photographed book.
California Garden - Oedipus King
Every serious garden book collection should include Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom. The author's fully shared expertise is superbly depicted with hundreds of mesmerizing full-color photos.
American Gardener - Bill Thomas
I strongly recommend Adrian and Richard Bloom's book to anyone looking for a useful guide to planting and using conifers in their garden.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 - Carol Noll
This is a beautiful, detail-rich guide to the uses of conifers in horticulture, produced by a renowned expert on the subject.
AHA Quarterly (American Herb Association)
One of the very few gardening books devoted to conifers in the garden, and it proves quite inspiring.
Lexington Herald-Leader - Kay Hofmeister
After reading [this book] you will be enthusiastic about using these surprisingly versatile plants.
New York Times Book Review - Verlyn Klinkenborg
Manage[s] the delicate task of encouraging gardeners without stupefying them, though it's hard to avoid the feeling that it would take two or three lifetimes to grow all the conifers you want.
Booklist - Carol Haggas
Covers virtually every aspect of conifer use and culture in a format accessible to horticultural students and home gardeners alike ... Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs ... Conifers are showcased in their full glory as richly textured, brilliantly colored, and subtly structured plants deserving of a spot in every garden.
Southam Newspapers - Steve Whysall
A first-rate introduction to 650 of the best cultivars .. a work of quality deserving a place in the library of any serious gardener.
Gardening How-To Magazine
Describes [conifers] color, 10-year height and width, ultimate size, hardiness and more. Use the 250 color photos to help picture conifers in your landscape and Bloom's expert cultural information to grow them successfully.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Susan Banks
A fine introductory primer to evergreens... the lovely photographs are sure to educate and inspire you.
The Sudbury Star - Ian Munt
This book is well-written, a pleasure to read and easy to follow.... An excellent addition to any gardener's library.
The National Gardener (National Garden Clubs of th
This inspirational, popular book has been reprinted again to met the demands of an admiring public... Gorgeous photographs... capture the full beauty of these evergreens.
Canadian Gardening - Trevor Cole
This is an excellent book filled with breathtaking photos taken by the author and his son, Richard. It's so inspiring, it almost makes me want to dig up my hostas and daylilies entirely and plant conifers. But by using the many suggestions given for plant combinations, I could simply add conifers instead.... Introductory chapters deal with the history, naming and growth habits of conifers. A wonderful series of photos depicting a single fir cone's development throughout the year was an eye-opener. Using conifers as specimen plants and in mixed plantings in landscapes is described in detail, and good ideas that will easily translate into the home garden, including growing conifers in containers, are shown. Almost half the book is devoted to plant descriptions that include the height and spread at 10 years, along with the "ultimate" height.... The final section is on caring for your conifers, offering advice on planting, pruning, propagation and pest control.
Verlyn Klinkenborg
Manage[s] the delicate task of encouraging gardeners without stupefying them.
New York Times Book Review
Booklist
Conifers are showcased in their full glory as richly textured, brilliantly colored, and subtly structured plants deserving of a spot in every garden.
Gardening How-To Magazine
Describes [conifers] color, 10-year height and width, ultimate size, hardiness and more ... expert cultural information to grow them successfully.
Southam Newspapers
A work of quality deserving a place in the library of any serious gardener.
Oedipus King
Every serious garden book collection should include Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom. The author's fully shared expertise is superbly depicted with hundreds of mesmerizing full-color photos.
California Garden
Marianne Binetti
The photos in this book prove that evergreens don't have to be green or boring.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
From The Critics
This beautifully illustrated book provides a full treatment of conifers. There are sections on their use in gardens and landscapes; techniques for taking advantage of their varied form and color; full description of how to plant, propagate, and prune; and a complete taxonomy of conifer varieties, each with a paragraph of description. The show-stealing photos are by Bloom and his son Richard of gardens in England (they reside in Norfolk, UK), Holland, Australia, and the US. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552096338
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/19/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 489,616
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Bloom has 35 years of experience planting and maintaining a six-acre garden that includes 500 varieties of conifers. He designed many smaller gardens and has photographed collections in North America, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. He is an international television presenter and regularly appears on The Victory Garden, on WGBH Boston.

Richard Bloom specializes in digital studio photography. His pictures have been widely published, with dramatic, detailed close-ups his specialty.

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Table of Contents

The Magic of Conifers

  • Conifers as garden plants
  • The origins of garden conifers
  • How conifers grow
  • The naming of conifers
A Close Look at Conifers
  • Flowers and cones
  • Foliage
  • Buds and shoots
  • The unusual
  • Bark
  • Form
  • Growth rates
Using Conifers in the Garden
  • Soil conditions
  • Sun, shade and color
  • Windbreaks and shelter
  • Structure
  • Hedges
  • Using conifers with other plants
  • Conifers on their own
  • Conifers through the seasons
  • Conifers for the smallest garden
  • Growing conifers in pots and containers
  • Japanese gardens and bonsai
  • Conifers as ground covers
  • Conifers for topiary,
    living sculptures and unusual features
Some of the Best Conifers
  • Directory of more than 600 conifers for the garden
Caring for Conifers
  • Planting containers
  • Moving containers
  • Pruning
  • Propagation
  • General maintenance
  • Pests and diseases
  • Gardens and specialist suppliers
  • Further reading
  • Index
  • Credits and acknowledgements

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Preface

The Magic of Conifers

'Why should I use conifers in my garden?' is a question that anyone picking up this book might ask. The answer, I hope, will be found in the following pictures, advice and information — conifers can add essential ingredients to a garden not easily or fully replicated by any other plants. I have spent over thirty years creating a garden with, literally, hundreds of conifers that provide interest and color the whole year round. I fully appreciate their value as well as their problems; unfortunately, it is often the latter that are highlighted by members of the gardening media who feel that conifers have little or no place in the modern garden. Gardeners in other parts of the world find it difficult to believe the paranoia that has become attached in Britain to the Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii); this entirely innocent, fast-growing evergreen has caused costly legal disputes between neighbors simply because people plant it in the wrong places or omit to trim it.

This is not a book about Leylandii, nor is it about the negative sides of conifers, which are no more prevalent than those of any other group of plants (and will of course be covered in the text). Any fast-growing tree — including eucalyptus, poplar or willow — should always be chosen and placed with care. The point to make with this marvelous and varied group of mostly evergreen plants is the same as with other trees and shrubs, even perennials: consider before you buy, plan before you plant, and always take heed of growth rates and likely suitability for purpose.

Far from being dull, to the observant this group of plants can be both awe-inspiring and magical. Conifers come in all shapes and sizes — miniatures may grow less than 3ft (90cm) in a hundred years, while others might reach 130ft (40m) or more in the same period. Conifers include the oldest living plant in the world, the ancient Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, whose 4,500-year-old wind-shattered specimens cling to life over 10,000ft (3,000m) up in the White Mountains of California, as well the tallest, the Coast Redwood, also in California, measuring almost 400ft (120m). If we are lucky, we can marvel at these in nature. It would not, of course, be advisable to plant a Coast Redwood in a smaller garden but, strangely enough, Pinus longaeva grows quite successfully at much less elevated positions, even in my garden at Bressingham in Norfolk, UK.

Conifers can be deciduous or evergreen. Among the former, the larches (Larix), the Swamp Cypresses (Taxodium) and the amazing Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo) have wonderful autumn colors as their leaves turn and fall. In winter, the first two, together with the deciduous Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia), exhibit traceries of branches and twigs against the sky, enhanced by frost and water droplets. The evergreens can display a wonderful range of colors. It is magical to see an evergreen like Pinus mugo 'Wintergold' transform its green summer needles to a glowing yellow or gold in autumn — such a cheery change can warm the heart during long winter days.

There is great interest, too, in the variety of conifer shapes — weeping trees can take on an ethereal appearance on a misty day; frosted or snow-laden branches can sparkle in low winter sun, their burden later melting in glistening droplets. Winter, when so much else in the garden is dormant, is when conifers really come into their own. But in late spring, when the sheathed winter buds swell and burst open on spruces (Picea) and firs (Abies), smothering them in fresh new leaves, the effect is magical. That in turn can be outdone by the startling red flowers seen on many conifers as the cones begin to develop. The cones themselves can be smaller than a pea or nearly as large as a football; in their young stage, the cones of the Korean Fir (Abies koreana) are a rich, deep blue.

The leaves of conifers are by no means uniformly dull, green needles, as many gardeners might believe. The hues of new growth include a brilliant powder-blue, bright grass-green, orange, yellow, cream, even red and crimson. Some conifers, such as junipers, bear both prickly young and quite different coarser mature leaves at the same time; others, such as firs, spruces and pines, have bright silver-blue undersides to their leaves which are gloriously revealed when they turn to face the light.

A further wonderful asset, often overlooked, is the aromatic fragrance given by many conifers, while some junipers have quite a pungent scent.

The awe-inspiring giants of the forest — the ancient, almost prehistoric Ginkgo,
the Metasequoia and the Chilean Monkey Puzzle tree — can all be grown today in gardens. For smaller gardens, however, a further type has added to the range — witch's brooms. These originate as congested growths on much larger trees, and have always been associated with witchcraft. Today, collectors all over the world search forests to find interesting forms that they can propagate and offer us for our gardens.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

The Magic of Conifers

'Why should I use conifers in my garden?' is a question that anyone picking up this book might ask. The answer, I hope, will be found in the following pictures, advice and information -- conifers can add essential ingredients to a garden not easily or fully replicated by any other plants. I have spent over thirty years creating a garden with, literally, hundreds of conifers that provide interest and color the whole year round. I fully appreciate their value as well as their problems; unfortunately, it is often the latter that are highlighted by members of the gardening media who feel that conifers have little or no place in the modern garden. Gardeners in other parts of the world find it difficult to believe the paranoia that has become attached in Britain to the Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii); this entirely innocent, fast-growing evergreen has caused costly legal disputes between neighbors simply because people plant it in the wrong places or omit to trim it.

This is not a book about Leylandii, nor is it about the negative sides of conifers, which are no more prevalent than those of any other group of plants (and will of course be covered in the text). Any fast-growing tree -- including eucalyptus, poplar or willow -- should always be chosen and placed with care. The point to make with this marvelous and varied group of mostly evergreen plants is the same as with other trees and shrubs, even perennials: consider before you buy, plan before you plant, and always take heed of growth rates and likely suitability for purpose.

Far from being dull, to the observant this group of plants can be both awe-inspiring andmagical. Conifers come in all shapes and sizes -- miniatures may grow less than 3ft (90cm) in a hundred years, while others might reach 130ft (40m) or more in the same period. Conifers include the oldest living plant in the world, the ancient Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, whose 4,500-year-old wind-shattered specimens cling to life over 10,000ft (3,000m) up in the White Mountains of California, as well the tallest, the Coast Redwood, also in California, measuring almost 400ft (120m). If we are lucky, we can marvel at these in nature. It would not, of course, be advisable to plant a Coast Redwood in a smaller garden but, strangely enough, Pinus longaeva grows quite successfully at much less elevated positions, even in my garden at Bressingham in Norfolk, UK.

Conifers can be deciduous or evergreen. Among the former, the larches (Larix), the Swamp Cypresses (Taxodium) and the amazing Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo) have wonderful autumn colors as their leaves turn and fall. In winter, the first two, together with the deciduous Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia), exhibit traceries of branches and twigs against the sky, enhanced by frost and water droplets. The evergreens can display a wonderful range of colors. It is magical to see an evergreen like Pinus mugo 'Wintergold' transform its green summer needles to a glowing yellow or gold in autumn -- such a cheery change can warm the heart during long winter days.

There is great interest, too, in the variety of conifer shapes -- weeping trees can take on an ethereal appearance on a misty day; frosted or snow-laden branches can sparkle in low winter sun, their burden later melting in glistening droplets. Winter, when so much else in the garden is dormant, is when conifers really come into their own. But in late spring, when the sheathed winter buds swell and burst open on spruces (Picea) and firs (Abies), smothering them in fresh new leaves, the effect is magical. That in turn can be outdone by the startling red flowers seen on many conifers as the cones begin to develop. The cones themselves can be smaller than a pea or nearly as large as a football; in their young stage, the cones of the Korean Fir (Abies koreana) are a rich, deep blue.

The leaves of conifers are by no means uniformly dull, green needles, as many gardeners might believe. The hues of new growth include a brilliant powder-blue, bright grass-green, orange, yellow, cream, even red and crimson. Some conifers, such as junipers, bear both prickly young and quite different coarser mature leaves at the same time; others, such as firs, spruces and pines, have bright silver-blue undersides to their leaves which are gloriously revealed when they turn to face the light.

A further wonderful asset, often overlooked, is the aromatic fragrance given by many conifers, while some junipers have quite a pungent scent.

The awe-inspiring giants of the forest -- the ancient, almost prehistoric Ginkgo, the Metasequoia and the Chilean Monkey Puzzle tree -- can all be grown today in gardens. For smaller gardens, however, a further type has added to the range -- witch's brooms. These originate as congested growths on much larger trees, and have always been associated with witchcraft. Today, collectors all over the world search forests to find interesting forms that they can propagate and offer us for our gardens.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2005

    A Tome for the Common or Professional Sylvan

    As an active member in the American Conifer Society: I find the book's merits are superb and rather genuine and the aforesaid author requires a round of applause from the lovers of conifers: 'Hip-Hip Hoorah!!!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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