Very few plants give the instant impact of conifers - or evergreens - as accents in the landscape. Their unique shapes and shades of green, gold, and silvery blue can be soft and subtle or bold and dramatic. They can be full-size or dwarf. Keep in mind that many dwarf conifers are very slow-growing and may take many years to reach their ultimate size. Here are some of the best.
These are easy to grow and have some of the most interesting forms. Varieties like 'Rheingold' have soft golden foliage and only reach 4 to 5 feet tall after many years, while others, like 'DeGroot's Spire' may eventually reach 10-12 feet tall, but remain less than 2 feet wide - it's an exclamation point in the landscape.
These tough little pines are sturdy, compact, and tough as nails. Their fine needles are held in unique clumps at the ends of the branches and their natural habit is to grow in a tight, rounded cushion.
Also known as Hinoki cypress, most of these have soft needles that don't poke and stick. 'Nana Gracilis' is small and unique, while 'Crippsii', with its rich, golden yellow color makes a striking focal point that may eventually get quite large where it's happy.
Junipers are another group of tough, low-maintenance plants that come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Some will eventually be tall trees, while others will be completely flat groundcovers throughout their lives.