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Growing Dwarf Conifers in Zone 7b

     We started planting dwarf conifers in our Atlanta area garden in September 1997, about the same time that area gardeners were beginning to recognize that conifers COULD be grown in our area. The Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) had just installed a display garden of conifers near the Dorothy B. Fuqua Conservatory. They had prepared a perfectly draining planting bed to accept the conifers they had selected, knowing that our wet, heavy clay would be a death sentence.

     After visiting ABG, I realized that most of these plants were going to be too big for the site we had chosen. The newly created stream bed and pond that my husband had built was right in front of our entrance walk and porch. We needed dwarfs. I went looking for them.

grouped conifers

     I researched catalogs. I studied my "Photo-Library of Woody Landscape Plants" on CD-ROM  by Dr. Michael Dirr, as well as his reliable reference "Photographic Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" ISBN 0-87563-153-3. The breakthrough was a visit to Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC  The nursery has several open days per year and we were fortunate to visit in September. At Plant Delights, we were thrilled to find many conifers that were labeled as dwarfs and we loaded up. Most of the dwarfs in our conifer garden had their start at this wonderful nursery.

     The other source we found was Piccadilly Farms in Bishop, GA, owned and operated by Sam and Carleen Jones. (no website, phone 706-769-6516) The nursery has been known primarily as a source of hellebores and other shade plants, but their wonderful conifer display garden continues to expand, currently holding over 200 varieties. Not all are offered at the nursery. They hold a Conifer Day once a year when they give guided tours of their displays.

If you have great self control, visit
They are wholesale only, but feature a photo gallery and descriptive information on hundreds of conifers. You may want them all.

Also, go to the American Conifer Society website for lots of info and photos

For photos and comments on the conifers we have grown, click on the family name below:







bullet Microbiota decussata
bullet Thuja
bulletThujopsis (to come)
I recently discovered this new book -  "Gardening With Conifers" by Adrian Bloom. He started growing conifers in the early '60's and has fit an amazing amount of information into this text.

 My review, written for the Georgia Perennial Plant Association's quarterly journal, Perennial Notes.