Flower Bed With Conifers - Rules Of Organization And Choice Of Plants

Classical perennial beds and colorful flowerbeds with beautifully blooming crops are increasingly being replaced in gardens by more practical compositions. Ensembles that keep their attractiveness all year round, do not require constant care, are steadily decorative and ceremonial - they are the choice for modern projects and those who want to enjoy their leisure in the garden in the first place. One of the most popular options for such compositions is flowerbeds with conifers. Evergreen compact beauties are a great basis for complex ensembles.

Flower bed with conifers - rules of organization and choice of plants
Coniferous flower bed

Content:

  • Benefits of flower beds with conifers
  • What flower bed can be considered "coniferous"?
  • Rules for creating a flower bed with conifers
  • Selecting plants for a flower bed with conifers
  • Mulching a flower bed with conifers

Benefits of flower beds with conifers

The introduction of as many skeletal plants as possible into the garden, capable of filling it with beauty and style even in winter, has finally become a principle in the design of decorative objects. Hedges, solitary soloists, expressive groups of shrubs and trees create only a general canvas. Every decorative ensemble needs its own stable stars - and alpinaries, and palisades, and flowerbeds. And there is no plant better able to cope with the task of introducing skeletal, evergreen elements in small and large compositions than conifers.

And it is not only in their extraordinary diversity - both in size, and color, and growth forms, allowing even for the smallest beds to find their plant. Conifers always look festive, solemn, ornate. They are some of the most attractive and atmospheric garden plants, and cannot help but make you feel good. And in flower beds conifers reveal their texture, richness of colors and fragrances, all their decorative talents not just completely, but from a completely new side.

Main advantages of conifers that are especially clearly expressed in flower bed:

  • preservation of attractiveness in winter (evergreen "dressing");
  • long life;
  • easy care;
  • simplification of flower bed design and planting schemes;
  • saving not only efforts but also means.

What flower garden can be considered "coniferous"?

Coniferous flower gardens are any decorative mixed composition with an elaborate structure in which conifers form the basis. Conventionally a flower bed with conifers is a decorative ensemble with at least 30% of conifers from the total number of planted plants.

Sometimes it's not so easy to understand whether a composition belongs to the number of flower beds with conifers, but it's better to use the criteria of importance or significance of conifers for the whole ensemble. A classic flowerbed in which a single plant is planted as an accent does not become a flowerbed with conifers.

But if such accents are repeated, are an important part of the ornament, form the basis of the flowerbed or are supplemented by one or two more plants in the composition, then we can talk about flowerbeds with conifers. The semantic load of conifers is also important: if they can be easily "removed" and replaced by another plant without losing the integrity of the image, then conifers in this flower bed are just a supplement.

Flower bed with conifers - rules of organization and choice of plants
Coniferous flower beds are any decorative mixed composition with a clever structure in which conifers form the basis. © Westside Seattle

Types of flower gardens with conifers

Conventionally all flower gardens with conifers are divided into two kinds:

  1. Coniferous plant flowerbeds only or conifers with other shrubs. In fact, they are a variety of decorative groups, but with the dominance of stalking and miniature species. The latter create an impression of elegance and compactness, imitating classical flower beds, but with skeletal plants.
  2. Combined coniferous flower beds with perennials and seasonal accents.

Rules of creation of flower beds with conifers

The process of creation of flower beds with conifers is similar to any other kind of flower bed - from planning to plant selection, site preparation and planting. The only thing different in such flower beds: before choosing other plants first determine with conifers. And planting them, place in the bed also in the first place.

Selected species of conifers dictate the necessary soil characteristics, as well as limitations on the possible list of partners, which should also be suitable for similar conditions. Flowerbeds with conifers can be arranged both in the sun and in the penumbra, and even in the shade, accordingly, the criteria for plant selection change. Planning and a sketch for such a bed is mandatory.

A few more practical nuances for planning and planting a flower bed:

  1. For plants strictly observe the maximum values of the recommended planting distance. In this case, for coniferous crops do not consider the size of seedlings, but the optimal size of adult plants. Compacted planting for such crops is unacceptable.
  2. The soil must be drained, nutritious, improved beforehand by introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers and deep recultivation. Conifers are planted in large planting holes, replacing even quality soil with a special mixture for the selected species.
  3. The whole planting area is divided by plant height - into zones of high, medium and low crops, and then planted them in the same order.
  4. Before planting it is better to arrange the seedlings directly on the ground according to the sketch.
Flower bed with conifers - rules of organization and choice of plants
Creating a flower bed with conifers, it is necessary to consider their size in the future. © Garden Design Ideas

Selecting plants for a flower bed with conifers

Selecting conifers for a flower bed is a fairly simple task. Only compact, slow growing, "predictable" and dwarf species and varieties with a bright appearance and pronounced texture are suitable for complex compositions.

For flower beds with conifers only, they are selected so that plants stand out brightly in the composition and contrast with partners. Conifers in a flower bed are divided into a dominant or accent plant (one large standing out or a group of 2-3 plants, similar in their role) and subordinate species, which seem to blend into the overall background of the composition and interact in mixed flower beds with perennials.

In a conifers flower bed usually use the most popular and bright varieties of pines, firs, fir trees and junipers. Dwarf blue spruces, Lawson cypress, weeping larch, Western Thuja, varieties of horizontal, scaly and medium-sized junipers, mountain and Bergman pine, Korean fir, all column-shaped, cone-shaped, dwarf, globe-shaped, stemmed, spiral varieties that add only a few tens of centimeters a year and have an unusual coloring are considered the favorites among designers.

Stalking junipers of the most compact and bright varieties have firmly cemented the title of the main stars not only of rocky gardens, but also of flower beds.

The plants that complement conifers are always chosen on the principle of contrast - textures, colors, size of leaves, first of all.

When it comes to mixed compositions with the use of creeping species of conifers, it is obligatory to introduce at least one groundcover or cushion plant into the ensemble. Large column-shaped or pyramidal accents are supplemented with perennials with lush, neat turf. But otherwise guided by the desired relief of the composition and the effect it produces.

Fine partners for conifers in the flower bed will be:

  • With shrubs - rhododendrons, bush laptops, dogwood, hydrangea, spires, barberry, boxwood, roses, forsythia, heather and ericas.
  • From the number of classical and large herbaceous perennials - ferns, heleniums, sage, ornamental grasses, irises, phlox, perennial asters, delphinium, echinacea, lilies, lilies, vertebrate, cuffs, badanum, dicentra, astilbe, hostas, geraniums, hillocks, formum, anemones, hellebores, primroses, goldenrod.
  • Abundance of groundcover species: hellebore, ascots, violets, alissum, carnations, stone flowers, Arabis, butterwort, peepers, thyme, bryophytes, periwinkle.
  • From the number of seasonal plants and concealers of voids in the composition in the early years - petunia, lobelia, zinnia, daisies, tulips, narcissus, Muscari, marigolds, lavatera

Combine plants for the flower bed with conifers easier than it may seem. It is enough just to start with the main conifers, consider the style and character, the color scheme and the desired lushness of the composition, and it will build itself around the selected soloists.

For example, several austere ball-shaped thuas look great in the company of climbing junipers, irises and cypress or barberry, with cushions of ascots and a dark carpet of oleaster decorating the foreground.

High column-shaped thuas are equally good when supplemented with hydrangeas, spireas and even roses if they are balanced by another massive coniferous shrub, patches of climbing junipers and bright perennials like phlox and privet between them.

Replacing spireas with hydrangeas and phloxes with astilbes, you can get a completely different lacy composition, to which you only need to choose an openwork groundcover for the front edge. A composition of gray or blue miniature spruce will also show its beauty in the company of a few bushes of originally colored junipers, between which you can gracefully enter the grasses like fescue and unpretentious sage. And the soft play of grasses, ferns, and irises, complemented by touching flowering carpets, will make any trio of conifers with different forms of growth shine.

Flower bed with conifers - rules of organization and choice of plants
Mulching the soil is a must for a flower bed with conifers. © homesecurity

Mulching the flower bed with conifers

Mulching the soil is a necessary element for any flower bed with conifers.

Mulch is poured only after all plants have been planted in the flower bed. For flower beds with conifers only two types of mulch are used - stone chips or gravel and bark.

Flower beds with conifers are always compositions with a very neat appearance and beautiful natural transitions. Even if regular elements are introduced into them, "rigid" frames in the design are tried to avoid. Decorative borders, fences, wattle and daub, volumetric borders are not for such flowerbeds.

It is better either to mask the front edge with plants, or to create a beautiful transition from mulch to paving or lawn. The only decorative curb option that can blend seamlessly into a flower bed with conifers is a flat masonry, clinker curb or steel band.

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