Designing with Conifers

Four statues of the seasons add a formal element to the conifer gardens.

Four statues of the seasons add a formal element to the conifer gardens.

Last week, MSHS held its annual Garden Gathering and Volunteer Recognition Event at the garden of the Brennys of Anoka County. These events recognize people who have donated their time and talent to MSHS as well as those who have made significant financial contributions.

What an amazing garden they saw, and one that demonstrates an important lesson for northern gardeners about designing with conifers—conifers can be the backbone of your garden design.

While this park-like private garden had color from annuals and perennials, both in the gardens and in containers placed carefully in the large landscape, the dominate source of color, texture, form and height was the conifers used throughout the garden beds. Conifers come in so many sizes, colors and shapes that you can create a variety of views and styles in your garden using them. And, unlike deciduous trees and shrubs, conifers keep their color and texture throughout the winter, another benefit of designing with conifers.

Lined with arborvitae, the path to the back garden is wide and inviting.

Lined with arborvitae, the path to the back garden is wide and inviting.

Below are a few photos from the Brennys’ beauitful garden. Perhaps they will inspire you to plant a few conifers this fall. To learn more about volunteering for MSHS (we need lots of volunteers for the Minnesota State Fair) or making a financial contribution, check out the MSHS website.

A beloved dog is honored in the garden.

A beloved dog is honored in the garden.

This photo gives a sense of the scale of this amazing garden design.

This photo gives a sense of the scale of this amazing garden design.

You can't argue with this!

You can’t argue with this!

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