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What dwarf conifers to plant?

12 years ago

Ok, you have got me with your collections of dwarf and mini cpnifers, and while I don't think I want to go all the way with them, I would like to plant a few in an area of assorted hostas, shrubs and perennials for some winter interest. It is an area about 40 x 60ft, has a Taxodium x Zhongshansha (Nanking Beauty) in the center that has only been there about 3 yrs (nearly 6' tall) but, providing it proves to be hardy, should be a very large tree.

A dogwood, a native buckeye, a seedling Bloodgood

Japanese maple, some David Ramsey blue hydrangeas, one young mugho pine, one old burning bush, assorted azaleas, a big hellebore, a few dwarf nandinas, assorted hypericums, two Knockout roses and a dwarf spirea live here. A young catalpa, a big weeping privet and a Pinky Winky hydrangea border the north side of the area under huge old oaks along with a hosta and shade plant bed.

But it needs more winter green and the contrast of some needle evergreens. I'm looking for suggestions for small dwarf, maybe even mini conifers to intersperse in here. It's been my experience that spruces don't do well in our hot dry Ozark summers, if the heat doesn't get them, spider mites will. Hemlocks and cedars don't grow well, either. Yews do quite well but I don't want something that gets too big. Chamaecyparis and Thuja do pretty well, as do some pines, but I don't know where to start.

I've looked at several internet sites but I confess to be almost as confused as I was when I started, as I am a complete novice when it comes to dwarf and mini conifers. I don't want anything that gets over 4' tall in 20 yrs.

Anything too small would be overwhelmed by big hostas and other perennials. The mugho pine has room to spread but I intend keeping it smaller than its full size. I would like something narrow with a little height, but not over 5', also a few with rounded shape or irregular growth habit. Maybe a creeper or to, but I have dwarf procumbens junipers in another area and Blue Rug loses its center here. Dwarf Japanese Black Pine maybe? I love the look of pines and Hinoki cypresses.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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