An Interest in the Landscape
Temple Amblers Colibraro Conifer Garden
As the designer at Cedar Run Landscapes, this time of year brings me a great deal of excitement and anticipation. The beginning of Robert Frosts poem "Nature's First Green is Gold" couldn't describe it any better.
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
~ Robert Frost
Our landscapes are starting to become dotted with the beauty of precious spring buds popping from their stems. Sooner than you know it, these buds will unfold into foliage and the arrival of spring will be lost to summer. So I ask all of you to make an effort this spring to get out into the garden. Admire the emerging new life and beauty taking place in our landscape.
Taking my own advice, I visited Temple Ambler this past month to check out the gardens. Still a bit early to see buds popping, the plants that did stand out were the evergreens especially in the Colibraro Conifer garden.
If you take a look at the landscapes around your neighborhood right now, what stands
out to you? Most likely you'll be noticing those plants that have held onto their leaves this winter, in other words evergreen plants. But once all the other landscape plants begin to emerge and fill in the many empty spaces we see today, these structural and significant specimens will start to fade into the background. So I'd like to highlight them before they do.
First let's explain the differences between evergreen and conifer. Conifer refers to trees and shrubs that produce cones where as evergreen describes plants that hold onto their leaves year round. Now most conifers are evergreen, but not all. Some examples of deciduous conifers include European Larch, Bald Cypress and Dawn Redwood.
The Colibraro Conifer Garden is located at Temple University's Ambler Campus in
front of the Greenhouse along a pedestrian path on the western side of campus.
This large berm garden has a wide range of conifers. The selection of species and cultivars allows one to compare the differences in habit, color and size of
the conifer plant palette. Below are some of my favorite specimens showcased
in the garden.
|Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar |
|Elegans Nana Dwarf Japanese Cedar|
|Nana Lutea Hinoki False Cypress|
Evergreen conifer trees and shrubs provide seasonal interest and structure to the garden. Larger specimens give the perfect screening to create intimate and private outdoor living spaces, a weeping habit can be shown off as a specimen, or there are even unique dwarf varieties for the smallest of spaces.