In this post we’re going to take a look at 10 of the best garden conifers that you can plant and grow at home.
These conifers are easy to grow, hardy and can help provide your garden with shade, privacy and security.
10 Best Garden Conifers
Because conifers come in all shapes, sizes and a wide range of colours, require little or no maintenance and keep their colour and form throughout the year, they are ideal for time-pressed gardeners. Here’s a list to get you started.
Silver Fir, they tend to have nice tall cones that stand out from the silvery grey foliage and are generally hardy although some dislike chalky soils.
Cedar. These tend to become large trees in later life so bear in mind that they could be anything up to fifty feet. They have needle like leaves arranged in spirals and their upright cones can take up to three years to ripen on the branches.
Japanese Cedar: a lovely family of false cedars with soft feathery foliage, they tend to make roughly conical plants in maturity and their green spring growth turns purple or bronzed in autumn. They are not hardy in very cold climates and may need a little protection by means of hedging or trellising from really cold winds.
These are generally slow-growing trees, making large silvery grey plants of either conical or pyramid shape. There are a few new yellow foliage varieties such as Sulphurea which are well worth looking out for.
The Juniper family is the most adaptable and attractive group, in my opinion, for garden use (and they make gin from Juniper berries, which is always good to know!) The tend to have colorful winter foliage and some varieties are noted for bright winter berries – Kaizuka is a star, producing beautiful blue-grey fruits when mature.
The Larch to you and me. It’s a rarity in that it’s a deciduous conifer; it has bright green leaves in summer that it drops after they turn gold in autumn. Nice for big gardens.
Spruce family. The Spruces are great plants, especially the dwarf versions – they may not like very dry or very chalky soils but otherwise do well. Your Christmas tree is probably going to be a spruce, which tells you what the family as a whole is like.
The lovely pines tend not to get grown as much as they should be. They have needles and cones, and new varieties offer a range of winter colours. Birds love them too.
Yew. Don’t grow this if you have horses or small children. The berries are beautiful but poisonous. Otherwise, plant one! This is the most attractive ornamental conifer and the berries resemble dark pink/red beads.
This species has flattened sprays of foliage a bit like fans. They are notably fragrant and well worth having in the garden for their wonderful summer smell.
The Bottom Line
As Matthew Pottage points out in this article “Regardless of setting, and whether the need is privacy or just something to enjoy in winter that actually appears to be alive, evergreens, including conifers, have their purpose in any garden.”
Whether you’re looking for the conifers for privacy or the conifers for shade, our collection above represents what we believe to be the best garden conifers that you can plant for yourself at home.
Image By: Vitor Pamplona