Love your conifers
Love your conifers for National Conifer Week this week – a perfect chance to get to know this wonderfully diverse yet often misunderstood group of plants.
You'll probably find at least one conifer in your own garden – a recent poll carried out by the Horticultural Trades Association found almost a third of garden owners had one. And no wonder: easy to care for and fitting in anywhere in the garden, they provide interest all year round.
That doesn't just mean evergreen foliage, either: the monkeypuzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) has a fantastic architectural shape, Pinus coulteri produces massive 30cm long cones and the foliage of Cryptomeria japonica flushes a handsome bronze in autumn. There's a huge range of colours too, from electric blue Korean fir (Abies koreana) to the golden columnar yew, Taxus baccata 'Standishii' (also bedecked in jewel-like red berries in autumn).
Go to a garden centre this week and you'll find eyecatching displays and demonstrations to show you just what's possible with this fantastic group of plants. Take a look at what's on offer and we guarantee you'll go home with your arms full of evergreen elegance for your own garden, too.