Already broken

You see this goblet? For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on the shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.

Ajahn Chah, Buddhist teacher

Obsessive Conifer Disorder

Perhaps it is because they stand in stark contrast to their gray-barked and bare-limbed cousins during the winter months, but evergreens have recently captured my attention. I purchased a book that details which conifers are best for landscapes in my part of the country, and I know it is only a matter of time before I begin purchasing a variety of them for my own lawn. I figure anything that can stay green and luscious throughout the frigid temperatures of winter deserves a prime spot in the view out my windows.

Saturday, on a whim, I stopped by a small garden center. Since this is their off season, none of the colorful flowers and plants that normally grace the area were anywhere to be seen. The place looked downright dilapidated. That didn’t stop me from squealing in delight when I noticed the beautiful cedars that had been moved front-and-center from their usual spot in the back corner.

A lanky-looking tree grabbed my attention first. I quickly discovered it to be a Golden Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’). It was beautiful, but the $100 price tag gave me a bit of sticker shock.

Golden Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’)

A small, shrubby conifer nearby was the next thing that caught my eye. While the unusual, rubbery needles were anything but painful, the same couldn’t be said of the price tag. This midget-sized mound of green was also marked $100.

Blue Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo 'Glauca')
Blue Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo ‘Glauca’)

I returned this afternoon for another look around and spotted a small tree around 3-4 feet tall. Its cascading branches made it look a little droopy, and I discovered it is appropriately named ‘Feelin’ Blue.’

Feelin' Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara 'Feelin' Blue')
Feelin’ Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin’ Blue’)

After much research online and with my new book, I am considering adopting ‘Feelin’ Blue.’ Apparently it is unusual for this plant to form a main leader, so the fact that this one has grown into the shape of a small tree makes it more desirable to me. What worries me is this is a terrible time to plant things (it’s freaking cold out there), and this plant has probably been neglected. I might give it a shot if I can get a hefty discount.

Plants on my wish list for 2014

Winterberry Holly
‘Berry Nice’ and ‘Jim Dandy’ (pollinator)

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Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar
Cedrus a ‘Horstmann’

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Tall Stewartia
Stewartia Monadelpha

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Deodar Cedar
Cedrus deodara

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Little Henry Sweetspire
Itea virginica

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Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana
Cha-Ching Cherry Petunia
Orange Tiger Lily