Winter Blues

As I watch the wintery mix fall outside my window, I think of those of us who long for spring and sunshine.  No need to become a snowbird though or to raid your cabinets searching for Vitamin D supplements.  The winter blues can be something to look forward to, especially in the case of blue-green needled conifers. 

Two of my favorites are Chamaecyparis nootkatensis‘Pendula’ (Weeping Alaska-cedar) and Abies concolor (Concolor or White Fir).
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ is an evergreen that grows 20 to 35 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide. The Weeping Alaska-cedar is a standout in any garden, large or small and a perfect specimen tree for an East Coast garden.  Your garden visitors will certainly be asking you “What is that tree?”  I remember seeing it for the first time in a container outside the conservatory at Longwood Gardens.  I had plant envy for sure.  This Chamaecyparis grows best in average, well-drained soils, in full sun or partial shade.  As a native tree to the Pacific Northwest, it’s even fond of moisture and humidity!  The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recognized Weeping Alaska-cedar as one of its Gold Medal Plants for 2015, confirming its exceptional merit. 


Weeping Alaska Cedar
Abies concolor, is native to the mountains of western North America. It is a medium to large evergreen tree growing to over 50 feet tall.   As an ornamental landscaping tree, it features soft blue-gray needles. Some claim the upright needles smell like oranges when crushed, which makes it not only a nice specimen tree, but also a desirable Christmas tree.  If you have the space, a Concolor fir will make a strong statement in your landscape. 
Concolor Fir
While Weeping Alaska-cedar and Concolor fir are among my favorite blue characters for winter; let me know yours by posting a comment.  And remember, the next time you are driving home from work in the dark or bundling up to protect yourself from pelting ice or snow, don’t despair – the cure for the winter blues is just a garden away!


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