Everyday Gardeners

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Why Grow Up?

Pinus flexilis 'Glauca Pendula'Summer is fading into fall, and that means winter (at least here in Iowa) is inevitably around the corner.

Many of my gardening friends tell me they like the idea of an evergreen for winter interest, but they don’t want to lose all the space a full-size pine tree would take up.

They’re in luck — and so are you, if you find yourself in a similar predicament. Instead of pursuing big trees, consider weeping forms. For example, I just snapped a picture of a weeping limber pine (Pinus flexilis ‘Glauca Pendula’) from the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden. It only grows about knee high and is spreading about 4 feet wide. It forms a stunning groundcover that looks good in all seasons.

If you look hard enough you can find weeping varieties of most of your favorite evergreen trees, including white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’), blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca Prostrata’), and hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’). Look for them at your local garden center or nursery as a quick and easy way to add four-season color to your landscape.

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