With National Conifer Week just around the corner, the British Conifer Group (BCG), supported by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is encouraging the nation's gardeners to celebrate this versatile and often colourful and often overlooked plant.
As part of the HTA's Plan it, Plant it this Autumn campaign, National Conifer Week, which is held between 29 September 2012 and 7 October 2012, aims to change perceptions of conifers and give them the recognition they deserve.
Conifers are coming back into fashion and are currently making a comeback in the urban garden, with nearly a third of garden owners having a conifer in their garden according to an Ipsos Mori poll commissioned by the HTA.
New varieties onto the market include Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Pearly Swirls', Juniperus squamata 'Hulsdonk Yellow' and Juniperus squamata 'Tropical Blue'. These all offer vibrant colour to a garden in blues, greens, golds, greys and bronzes to brighten up those autumn and winter months.
There are a diverse range of conifer shades, textures, shapes and sizes. When planted they can create height and add exciting form to any garden. From a small balcony with room for a container, to acres of grounds with space, conifers can add something truly special to any garden, patio or driveway. Also being hardy, low maintenance and easy to care for, conifers are the ideal choice for the novice gardener.
Derek Spicer of Kilworth Conifers has recommended the best five conifers for a small garden. He said: "It was difficult to choose from so many different ones but my top five conifers would be:
• Taxus baccata 'Standishii',
• Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis'
• Picea glauca 'J.W. Daisy's White'
• Picea pungens 'Globosa'
• Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Minima Aurea'.
The RHS has recently published a giant, two-volume Encyclopedia of Conifers, co-authored by Derek Spicer, which covers all of the world's 615 conifer species plus 8,000 cultivars. An ideal book for the conifer collector, the encyclopedia features over 5,000 fantastic photos and provides an essential reference tool.
During National Conifer Week, many garden centres will be highlighting conifers under the Plan it, Plant it this Autumn strapline with eye-catching displays, demonstrating the versatility, variety and longevity of British conifers.
For more information on Plan it, Plant it this Autumn please visit www.the-hta.org.uk/autumn