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4010 Mt Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA, 94549

Life is Beautiful Blog

Crazy For Conifers

Lauren Brookhart

'Golden Ghost' Japanese Red Pine

'Golden Ghost' Japanese Red Pine

Looking for a focal point that will lend year-round shade? Conifers are a must! If you’ve shopped our conifer section (located next to trees at the end of the parking lot) then you’ve met Luke, our resident expert. Overflowing with new arrivals in limitless varieties, we talked to Luke about what we shouldn't miss when browsing these beautiful evergreens. 

Looking for the unusual? Luke recommends checking out the ‘Golden Ghost’ Japanese Red Pine. Flaunting needles with green and yellow rings that seem to shimmer in the sun, this hardy Eastern Pine grows 8-12” a year, reaching roughly 10’ in 10 years. It’s decorative red-orange stems are a rarity in gardens and collections, you’ll notice its golden spring growth paling to near white through this season.

'Daub's Frosted' and 'Mother Lode' Juniper

'Daub's Frosted' and 'Mother Lode' Juniper

The infamous ‘Tam’ has given junipers everywhere a bad name. But we’re confident our collection of low-growing and manageable junipers will change that. For drought-tolerant and deer resistant edging and borders, ‘Daub’s Frosted’ is a low-growing, 3-4’ tall and wide juniper that lends a tri-color touch of yellow, lime-green and blue-green to your garden.

Looking for more of a “ground hugger”? Reaching only 6” high, ‘Mother Lode’ Juniper is perfect for cascading down a slope with bright golden-yellow foliage from spring to summer and rich burgundy undertones in winter. 

Joe’s Bess’ Bristlecone Pine and ‘Smaragd’ Thuja

Joe’s Bess’ Bristlecone Pine and ‘Smaragd’ Thuja

The Bristlecone Pine, found in our White Mountains is arguably the oldest thing on the planet, about 5,000 years old. Our ‘Joe’s Bess’ Bristlecone Pine is of the dwarf variety growing 6’ high and 4’ wide. It’s a great focal point or accent for your rock garden, container or even a large Bonsai specimen. The dense clusters of two-toned needles point upwards, creating a dense, consistent shape. It’s hard to not be in awe, plant this and it could be growing for the next 5,000 years!

The ‘Smaragd’ Thuja is a no-brainer for creating privacy in your garden. Known for its neatness and healthy green color in winter, plant in sun or light shade and trim as needed to maintain desired shape.

‘Mariesii’ Cypress and 'Knaptonensis' Japanese Cedar

‘Mariesii’ Cypress and 'Knaptonensis' Japanese Cedar

For a dappled corner of your garden, ‘Mariesii’ Cypress is perfect as an accent, growing 4’ high and 3’ wide. Its super fine, lacy foliage is speckled, creating a frosted look that changes color depending on sun exposure. Watch the foliage grow rich in gold tones with full sun and a creamy white in shade.

The 'Knaptonensis' Japanese Cedar calls for shade, shade and more shade! The two-tone light green and white foliage gives this conifer eye-catching texture. A slow grower at 3-4” a year, it has a very dense, broad pyramidal form that makes it the perfect small-scale gardening cedar.

Still not satisfied? Read on for more of Luke's Limitless Conifers!