Bill's Conifers and Maples

I got hooked on conifers in 2007 after a visit to South Seattle College's Coenosium Garden within their Arboretum. It led me to searching for and acquiring Picea abies Pusch, a dwarf prostrate spruce with raspberry colored cones on the tips of new growth. I got really hooked a couple of years later when, over a weekend, I was privileged to tour the grounds of a specialty conifer grower and the next day, the Oregon Garden. After seeing the range of textures and colors available, I began replacing several plants in my yard with a variety of conifers, large and small. My real downfall came when West Seattle Nursery asked me to take the position of Tree and Shrub Buyer in the fall of 2012. I could now buy for the nursery plants I wanted in my yard. At this time I also joined the American Conifer Society and, after touring other private gardens as part of the 2014 Western Region conference, I began collecting in earnest. I now own over 100 conifers, most of which are dwarf or miniature.

My other major interest is Japanese maples of which I own over 70 varieties, many of which are also dwarf. Naturally, I am also a member of the International Maple Society and will be attending the annual meeting in Brittany, France this fall.

Over the next several months I hope to share with you some of my passion for these beautiful plants and maybe inspire you to add varieties to your own yard you may not have previously considered. Topics I expect to include are:

Conifers that due well in shade

Varieties of conifers by color, size and form

Pruning and the classes and demonstrations we will offer at the nursery

Conifers for pots and/or bonsai

Rare and/or hard to find that we have in the nursery

The American Conifer Society and their Collector's Conifer of the Year program

Varieties of Japanese Maples by size, shape and color

Japanese Maples that can take sun

Japanese Maples with colored bark (there are many more than the standby 'Coral Bark')

Japanese Maples in containers

Pruning and the classes and demonstrations we will offer at the nursery

The International Maple Society

Here is the plant that got it all started for me. This is late in the season when the cones have lost most of their color. The one in my yard was less than 9" across when I got it in 2008. It is now about 2' x 3' and 10" high. It spreads less than 2" per year.

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