Intuitive Gardening Scandal 2: a conifer that was misunderstood

Ever since my family moved to a house in the suburb when I was six, my father was an ardent gardener. Every day, whenever he got the time, he would go out in our small family garden to water the plants, pluck the weeds and take care of the hedges. Since my mother was not interested in gardening at all, my father had agreed to be the head gardener on one condition that nobody would interfere with his gardening method.

Our gardening budget was bare minimum, and as such, we never hired a professional gardener. But my father was determined to use whatever resources he had to create a presentable garden, to achieve at least a fraction of the beauty and sophistication of the ones built by professional gardeners.

There was just one caveat. My father had a very intuitive approach to gardening, and he always chose to be guided by his own creative ideas and rarely consulted a book or an expert.

One summer, when I was about eleven, my father had the idea to plant a conifer tree. It had always been his dream to have a tree in our garden, and since we lived in a cold region, he figured that a conifer tree would be a good option.

“You see those trees?” He pointed to rows of evergreen trees in our neighbours’ sophisticated gardens. “Those are conifer trees. They are good for a cold weather, and they are also easy to maintain! Perfect for us!”

He brought back a Goldcrest conifer tree from a garden store and planted it near the hedge. It was the shadiest part of our garden, but he chose this spot because it was one of the only available spots.

“Now, let’s wait and see until this tree grows as tall as theirs!”

Several months passed. Winter came, and it started to snow heavily. The baby Goldcrest conifer tree was buried under the snow. Then another hardship came its way.

Our neighbour’s carport was located adjacent to our garden hedge, and as the sun came out, the thick icy layer of snow on the carport started to fall on our hedge and on my father’s new Goldcrest tree. It mercilessly broke several branches of our already sparse hedge and of the baby Goldcrest.

When spring arrived, there was no life to the Goldcrest tree. It did not survive the winter.

The next summer, my father bought another Goldcrest to give it another try. This time, he planted it far away from the carport. But again, when winter gave way to spring, the Goldcrest emerged from the snow looking lifeless.

“Strange,” my father furrowed his brows. “Conifers are good for a cold weather I thought.”

That was when he finally did a quick search about Goldcrest conifer trees. Turned out that these particular conifers needed a lot of sunlight, and they were not meant for a really cold weather.

“I picked the wrong kind!” My father exclaimed upon delivering the news. “This one was supposed to remain in a moderate temperature!”

Finally, that summer, he purchased a Blue Heaven conifer tree, a kind that was more resilient to a cold weather. It was planted away from the carport, and for further protection, I covered it with a bucket whenever it snowed. The tree survived the winter, grew during the following summer, and it kept growing.

Today, there is a tall Blue Heaven conifer tree in my father’s garden, standing taller than the carport.

Check out also: Intuitive Gardening Scandal 1: two bare corncobs.