Composing evergreens in your garden

Read the previous part of the article: Evergreens in your garden

Conifers are the main material for breeding evergreens. Conifers are perennial trees and shrubs, on which not flowers, but cones are formed.

A typical evergreen coniferous is Scots pine, it has narrow wintering leaves-needles, consisting of woody scales. However, not all conifers look like this. Some, for example, shed their needles for the winter.

Classification of the crown shape of evergreen plants

According to the scientific concept, there are several classifications of the forms of crowns of evergreens. There are many evergreens, which are so varied in height, appearance, color, growth shape, growing conditions and flowering time requirements, that any amateur gardener can choose plants for their garden and for the goals that you set for yourself. In other words, if you want to make a continuous living fence of evergreen plants, then you need a certain shape of the crown of plants, if you want to close the ugly places in your garden, for this you need to choose a different shape.

Also, do not forget that evergreens are subdivided into dwarf and slow-growing plants, and it is important to understand the difference between them.

Slow growing plants do grow slowly, but after a few years they can get quite high.

Dwarf plants - these are plants, the maximum height of which is significantly less than the height of other representatives of this genus or species

Use of plants

Ground cover plants play a very important role in the garden, they grow rapidly and form green carpets on empty plots of land, beautifying the garden, suppressing the growth of weeds. They are appreciated for their ability to quickly expand in breadth and cover the soil with themselves.

On the other hand, among evergreens there are tall plants that can be used to mask walls or supports, or can be planted as living walls.

For these purposes, mainly conifers are used. These plants are hardy enough and can winter outdoors in the garden.

Overwintering foliage is also preferable on plants that are planted on the lawn, in an open area of ​​the garden. Such plants form the architectural appearance of the garden or highlight some of its details.

Conifers can be planted in flower beds and on curbs, but dwarfs, balsam fir varieties Nana and Lawson cypress varieties Minima Glauca, are especially widespread.

These plants are able to partially or completely suppress the growth of weeds, they have good ground cover properties. Low-growing deciduous and coniferous plants, for example, juniper middle grade Old Gold, have the same properties.

The scaly juniper Blue Star can quickly create a beautiful silvery blue carpet under trees and tall shrubs.

Some plants grow fairly quickly in a spacious area without stands, but in dense plantings this can pose a threat to nearby shrubs. Evergreen dwarf plants and evergreen shrubs adorn the garden even in winter.

Evergreens with a green pyramidal crown, yellow or blue foliage, and a rounded and flat crown remain attractive throughout the year.

Not all evergreens have the same hardiness, some are delicate and require shelter for the winter, and some of these plants sometimes need to be trimmed. For example, Lawson cypress Minima Aurea, common juniper Compressa, black pine Gnom, rhododendron Elizabeth.

Thu western variety Hetz Midget is planted separately, and not in a flowerbed or in a border, when they want nothing to interfere with admiring them. Such plants determine the appearance of the garden, in particular, its height. In single plantings, conifers are often used, the branches of which are covered with foliage all year round and indicate that the garden continues to live even when most of the plants look lifeless.

Choose a plant that is decorative, if not all year round, then most of the year. The decorativeness of many separately growing plants lies in the variably colored foliage, fruit or bark, not in the flowers. It is important to choose a plant of the right size and crown shape. A small bush will get lost on a large lawn. A large tree in the middle of a small lawn will not only look out of place, but it will drain and dry out the soil and shade most of the lawn. Plants in drought need to be watered and, if necessary, cut.

In order for evergreens to look on your site, you need to plant them in certain landscape compositions. We will talk about some of them.

Composition of evergreen plants

First of all, it is necessary to decide on the type of future landscape composition. Landscape composition is the construction of a garden on a free combination of plants, or their placement in combinations that have the correct geometric or symmetrical composition. If the first type is associated with a natural landscape and is suitable for decorating almost any zone, then the appearance of plantings of the second type in the garden requires a certain semantic load.

Regular groups of coniferous or deciduous species can emphasize the ceremonial character of the main entrance by arranging the so-called green gates, or arrange the compositional center of a parterre flower garden. Conifers are also good in combination with small architectural forms or facades of houses in a classic style.

The following groups are distinguished by size:

  1. Small groups of 2-4 plants.
  2. Medium groups - from 5-7.
  3. Large groups of 8-15 plants.
  4. If there are more than 15 trees in a group, it is called a curtain.

In medium and large groups, the core of the composition and the outer contour are distinguished. The largest and most beautiful trees are chosen as the core, and tall and low shrubs are often used to create the outer contour. This combination helps to quickly get a decorative effect: after all, shrubs reach their greatest decorativeness by the third or fifth year of life, while trees - only 10–20 years after planting. The groups are subdivided according to the structure:

  • compact groups (dense);
  • loose groups (openwork).

An example of a compact group is such an exquisite technique as a bouquet planting, when several specimens of the same breed are planted in one pit. Let's say you have decided on the type and approximate size (respectively, and the number of specimens) of the future tree and shrub group. Now it's up to the specific breeds. Plants are usually arranged according to the following principles.

Plant layout principles

Typological principle involves the use of various species of trees and shrubs suitable for joint growth. The core of the composition can be light-loving species (larch, birch), and the underbrush - shade-tolerant trees and shrubs (spruce, cotoneaster). By imitating nature, you will achieve the naturalness of your plantings.

Systematic principle based on the use in one group of representatives of different species of the same genus, which creates a certain artistic unity. You can make a group of spirits with different flowering times. Such a picture will retain its decorative effect from spring to autumn. You can plant different forms of western thuja or junipers in a group - tall columnar plants will create a bright contrast with the open and dwarf forms. This plant selection principle is especially suitable for beginners in garden design.

Physiognomic principle based on a combination of the appearance of various plants, taking into account the seasonal and age dynamics of their development. Perhaps this is the most difficult of the listed layout methods, requiring the compiler to know the timing of the flowering of each plant, the peculiarities of the autumn color of the foliage, and fruiting. But it is he who allows you to achieve the greatest decorative effect.

The minimum distance in groups between trees, especially when planting small-sized seedlings, is one meter. The maximum is equal to the diameter of the crown, as a rule, it is three to five meters. If the projected group consists of three trees, they are usually planted at the vertices of an equilateral triangle, of five at the corners of an irregular quadrangle and one in the center.

When creating a composition of trees and shrubs, try to favorably set off the merits of each plant. For example, if you plan to use variegated and red-leaved trees and shrubs, it is better to place them in the foreground (along the outer contour) against a background of uniform, dense greenery of the main plantings. And the smooth transition from trees to the lawn will help to create perennials planted here. Having formed the lower tier of a group of plants such as hosts, irises, peonies, you will add integrity and completeness to the whole composition.

The plant that defines the architectural appearance of the garden attracts attention in itself and serves as a focal point. An accent plant is designed to draw attention to a nearby building, another plant, or a group of plants. No matter what role they play, single trees and shrubs are extremely important to every garden.

Read the next part of the article: Growing Evergreens in Your Garden

Sergey Tyunis,
landscape designer

Photo by the author

Features of the most affordable and popular garden conifers

Today, garden stores and nurseries offer a fairly wide range of conifers for planting in personal plots and dachas. Let's consider the most popular ones.

Spruce(Picea). Many of its typical species feel very comfortable in different climatic zones of Eurasia. The decorativeness of the pyramidal crown and other advantages of these forest beauties have long attracted the attention of garden designers and amateur gardeners. They thrive on loamy and sandy loam soils, and although they like sunny places, they tolerate shading well.

Since the birthplace of spruces is northern latitudes, frosty winters and cold winds are familiar to them, and do not have a particular effect on the well-being of these plants. For planting in the garden and in the personal plot, they are most often used Picea abies - European spruce (ordinary) - the fastest growing variety of conifers, capable of becoming the "queen of the garden", as well as medium-sized and dwarf varieties Picea omorica (Serbian spruce) - they are valued for their high decorative qualities, compactness and pickiness to soil.

Pine(Pínus). Medium-sized and low-growing varieties of this type of coniferous trees are very popular due to their unpretentiousness, cold resistance and a variety of shades of needles. Its color range in different varieties varies from dark green to bluish-smoky. Of the minuses: pine trees are not very friendly to other plants, and even to their own kind, if they grow nearby. This point must be taken into account when drawing up garden compositions. Resistant to frost and drought, pine, however, does not tolerate urban smog.

For the garden, varieties of European cedar pine are often chosen (Pinus cembra), for example, 'Compacta Glauca', with blue needles, and 'Compact Gem' - a dwarf variety of Geldreich pine (Pínus heldréichii) with a wide-pyramidal crown.

Fir(Abies). The crown of a young plant has a beautiful, conical shape, like those of the Christmas trees, which are depicted on New Year's cards. Over the years, it acquires a columnar shape and during its life (almost 700 years!) Can grow up to 60 m in height. Feels fine in shady places, however, it does not tolerate extreme heat, droughts and severe frosts.

Dwarf varieties are usually chosen for the garden - they look great on alpine slides and flower beds. Preference is given to Abies balsamea (balsam fir), in particular, the variety 'Abies balsamea Nana' ('Nana') - a shrub with soft, short needles and an unusually bright resinous aroma, as well as varieties of neat, conical Abies nordmanniana (Nordman fir) with original color of needles - variations from blue-green to golden.

Cypress(Chamaecyparis). This coniferous plant is also prized for the color variety of dense, fluffy needles and the variety of crown configurations. Cypress trees tolerate frosty winters well, but they are not very resistant to droughts. Gardening designers most often welcome the dwarf variety 'Aurea Nana' with a spherical crown and hanging branches, as well as the variety 'Blue Surprise' with blue needles.

Juniper(Juníperus).In landscape gardening design, all varieties of this plant are used very widely. Due to the variety of forms, the juniper can be a large or dwarf tree, a bush, have creeping forms, play the role of a tapeworm or hedge in the garden.

A very beautiful variety of rocky juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)'Blue Arrow' - the branches grow from the very base, and the old needles do not turn yellow, retaining their green color. Of the creeping varieties, the 'Blue Chip' is especially interesting. It has an almost perfect spherical crown and gets along well with any plants in rock gardens and rockeries. Other advantages of this wonderful ephedra:

  • grows in any soil
  • not afraid of temperature changes
  • drought tolerant
  • tolerates haircut well
  • protects the soil from erosion
  • smells delicious.

Thuja (Thuja). This unpretentious coniferous plant, which does not care about the gas pollution of large cities, which forms pruning, frosts and droughts, is often planted not only in park zones of megalopolises, but also in summer cottages. Species and varietal diversity allows you to use it for the most fantastic landscape gardening compositions. For example, the wonderful dwarf variety 'Danica' Tui Zapadnaya (Thuja occidentalis) with a perfect spherical crown of fan-shaped evergreen twigs will be an adornment of any rockery or mixborder. And the variety 'Kornik' Tui folded (Thuja plicata) is perfect for forming a solid fence or green screen.

Cross-pair microbiota (Microbiota decussata). This picturesque, strikingly viable and tactile-relaxed shrub (on its creeping, dense and soft branches you can lie like on a pillow) is originally from the Far East, and is a rather rare species of conifers. In nature, it is found only on the Sikhote-Alin ridge, is listed in the "Red Book" as an endangered species. By choosing this curiosity for decorating the garden, you can not only become the owner of a rare collectible plant, but also contribute to the preservation of the species.

Nanoconifers. If you are an adherent of miniature conifers no larger than a tennis ball and adding only 2-3 mm in height in a year, then you should pay attention to:

  • variety ‘Van Bemmel’s Dwarf’ Common spruce (Picea abies)
  • ‘Veverka’ Mountain Pines (Pinus mugo)
  • ‘Gnom’ and ‘Bregeon’ microsorts of Lawson cypress trees (Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana). It is quite difficult to grow them, but the joy is immense if it works out.

12 spring garden compositions in a container

1. Spring Festival
Welcome spring with a sunny composition made from bulbs of various heights. Purple tulips, yellow daffodils, pink ranunculus (Ranunculus) , mouse hyacinth muscari (Muscari), pansies and variegated ivy.

To create a similar arrangement, plant early, mid and late flowering bulbous plants in the same container as instructed.

If you didn’t manage to plant your bulbs last fall, you can buy the already sprouted bulbs at the flower shop and transplant them into a large container. Choose only those plants that are barely budding to bloom at the right time.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

2. Spring trio
A composition of an odd number of pots arranged in a semicircle looks very elegant. In the example in the photo, the landscape designer combined pansies and nemesia by dropping them into the lowest container. The middle pot contains a composition of evergreens - boxwood and climbing ivy, and the tallest of the pots is emphasized by a vertical composition with the help of foxglove purple.

A technique worth taking into account: from cut willow branches, you can make an unusual support for tall flowers with heavy buds.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

3. Purple rain
A garden hydrangea, unlike a bush hydrangea, requires a small pot to flower, making it an ideal container garden plant. Buy hydrangea in buds or already in bloom and combine it with fragrant and mouse hyacinth and greenish yellow stonecrop (Lemon Coral). In the center of the composition in the photo is a large-leaved hydrangea "Matilda Gadges".

After flowering, the garden hydrangea can be transplanted into a flower bed, preferably in the sun.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

4. In miniature
A miniature garden is ideal for a tall container with flowers at eye level. Small daffodils (for example, 20-centimeter varieties "Haver" or "Baby Boomer") look good together with pansies and hyacinth. And if you want a sensation of height, put twigs of willow or flowering forsythia in the pot.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

5. The smell of spring
So that every time you enter the house you will be enveloped in the delightful smell of spring, plant bulbous ones with a pronounced aroma in pots. For example, hyacinth and papery daffodil (Narcissus papyraceus).

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

6. Strawberry meadow
Strawberries grow very well in a container. This plant prefers warmer soil temperatures and good drainage (make sure your container has a drainage hole). Plant now varieties that will bear fruit in June, such as Chandler, Jewel and the incredibly delicious Sequoia.

  • Watering requirements: moderate (the abundance of water deprives the berries of sweetness).
  • Lighting requirements: bright sun.

7. Pastel shades
Potted arrangements made from succulents look good both in spring and summer. Moreover, they are undemanding to care for. Match succulents in different shapes, colors and textures, from rosette echeveria to tall aeonium and groundcover succulents in a variety of textures. In the photo in the center of the composition, the purple echeveria ("The Pearl of Nuremberg") immediately attracts attention.

Around echeveria are planted sedum "Angelina", aloe vera, echeveria "Mexican giant", creeping senezio with bluish vertical leaves and aeonium "Velor".

  • Watering requirements: seldom.
  • Lighting requirements: bright sun in hot climates - light partial shade.

8. Spring elegance
With the help of spring annuals (pansies and viola) or plants blooming in warmer months (petunias or bacopa), you can quickly renew coniferous and evergreen shrubs planted in containers.

To create a spring mood, choose flowers in shades of blue, lilac, pink, lemon yellow or pale orange. In the container in the photo - small-leaved boxwood "Faulkner" (Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’) and calibrachoa Celebration Sky Blue.

  • Watering requirements: moderate.
  • Lighting requirements: bright sun.

9. Bird's nest
You don't have to plant anything to create this composition. Just stick a few willow branches into the container and place the moss pieces around them. Attach a decorative nest to the center - you can buy it at your nearest hobby store. If your composition will be standing indoors, remember to dampen the moss every two to three days to keep it fresh and green.

  • Watering requirements: moisturize every 2-3 days.
  • Lighting requirements: any.

10. Sunny greeting
Spring flowers in richer shades look more spectacular than their pastel counterparts. Try combining hot pink tulips with golden daffodils, orange and sky blue pansies, purple nemesia, and variegated ivy to create a vibrant mood at home.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: from bright sun to partial shade.

11. Blue ice
If you plant such beauty now, you can enjoy its bloom all summer long. Lavender with small silvery leaves (for example, Stekhad lavender "Silver Anuk") looks very fresh in spring, and turns into a pale green fluffy bush dotted with purple flowers in summer. Surround it on all sides with annuals that bloom during the warmer months (for example, calibrachoe), or Steller's wormwood (Artemisia stelleriana), which falls down in a beautiful silvery cascade.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: bright sun.

Garden in a container: 11 spectacular compositions for your balcony

12. Yellow-green and purple
You can play with a bright contrast - a juxtaposition of dark purple and lime green foliage. The designer of this garden combined a creeping tenacious with dark plum leaves ("Black Scallop"), yellow-green loosestrife ( "Goldilocks"), strobilant with bright purple foliage, gerbera (Osteospermum ecklonis) "Lavender mist" and bright pansies with yellow and purple flowers.

  • Watering requirements: moderate to strong.
  • Lighting requirements: bright sun.

Do you have your signature container spring garden combination? Share your photos in the comments.

Features of the French and architectural styles of the garden

Gardens in architectural and French styles have their own differences and similarities. One of them has more in common with the classic style and hi-tech, the other is more reminiscent of the German style and minimalism. In our article, we will take a closer look at these styles, tell you what plants and decor items are used in their design, and also give some tips for a more successful implementation of styles on your site.

Choosing colors

An important aspect when drawing up a flower bed diagram is the color of plant buds. At the initial stage, it is better to use only 2-3 contrasting shades, and later move on to more complex color transitions and combinations. But even a beginner should understand that color has a significant impact on the psycho-emotional state of a person, so you should choose plants that give flowers with the shade of petals that you like.

Table. Colors and their effect on humans.

On a note! Variegated flower beds can always be slightly diluted with white flowers. They will add zest to the plantings. And in order to choose the matching colors, use the color wheel.

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