Golden Conifers in Winter

For us in the Midwest, the winter landscape can be a bit bleak with lots of white and brown out there.  Our “winter interest” gardens should also contain colorful stems, ornamental berries and a lot more conifers for color.  Plant form and structure also becomes more conspicuous with all of our woody plants.  Yellow in the winter landscape can be extremely ornamental and there are many conifers that can provide that interest.  There are some deciduous conifers that get a yellow fall coloration before their needles drop and there are other conifers that have yellow spring highlights and fade to green.  The focus in this blog however, is on those that will offer some degree of yellow/gold/chartreuse during those long winter months.  The photo above is the ‘Yellow Ribbon’ arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) which is a common variety that shines in the winter (deer like it too though!).  In many cases, the most intense golden coloration on these selections will come in the winter months.  Some of these will also have bright growth in spring but certainly add some eye-catching interest in our dull winter landscape.  Don’t forget to also include ornamental bark, berries, colorful stems, engaging plant forms and other elements for 12 months of interest!
It was a quiet day at the Horticulture Center.  Larry H. was out bringing in more lights and both Bill and Larry O. were processing lights inside along with some other projects.  We also saw Gary and Dr. Yahr today and our Horticulture Therapy Committee met in the afternoon to discuss our August 11th event entitled “Incorporating Gardening Into a Therapy Program”.  This all day event will have lecture components and many hands on activities.  From the description for this program…”This program is specifically designed for those that work with special populations and are interested in learning about the benefits gardening can provide their clients, as well as how it may be incorporated into a therapy program.”  This event will also be of interest for the avid gardener as it will address accessibility and gardening as we age!
 golden Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris ‘Gold Coin’)
 golden Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana ‘Wate’s Golden’) – above and below


golden Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana ‘Golden Spreader’) – above and below with a bit of winter damage


 golden lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’) – above and below


 golden mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’)
golden hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Aurea Compacta’)
 golden falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mops’) – above and below


 golden falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’)
golden falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sepers Gold’)
golden bird’s nest spruce (Picea abies ‘Repens Gold’)


 golden juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Saybrook Gold’)
 golden Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’)
 golden mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Aurea’) – winter color
 golden white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Hillside Winter Gold’) – winter color
 golden Korean fir (Abies koreana ‘Aurea’)
golden arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Holmstrup Yellow’)