Friday, February 18, 2011

EVERGREENS! Every Garden Needs Them

Evergreens are an essential ingredient in our gardens. They help to provide the bones or structure of our landscape. In our cold climate gardens they provide color when our world is covered in Winter Whites or has turned to shades of brown.  Without them, Winters in our gardens would just be cold and dreary. This post is the first in a series highlighting the importance of Evergreens in our gardens and some of our favorites.

The star of today's post is the

Austrian Black Pine
Pinus nigra

The Austrian Black Pine is a rapidly growing pine 
with long dark needles in bundles of 2's. 
It thrives in full sun and is cold hardy to -20°.
Mature size is 50 ft tall and 35 ft. wide.

Eastward View of Austrian Pines 2009

Evergreens provide peace and calm in our gardens 
as well as privacy and shade.

Have you ever just sat in your garden and listened to sound of the wind rustling through an evergreen tree's branches? It's a heavenly sound that soothes and calms on a Summer's night.

Looking North...Spring 2009

We planted six Austrian Black Pines in our landscape. We needed something to grow quickly and they have not disappointed us. Their growth has averaged about a foot a year. When they are full grown in our gardens their boughs will just touch, creating a place of privacy in our open path neighborhood. We love the shade they provide on hot Summer days and  the wildlife they bring to our gardens reminds us that we share this beautiful earth with God's delicate creatures.

Summer 2010... Glorious Mountain Background

Evergreens can be a considerable investment of money as well as our time, so it's important to choose wisely before we make a purchase. Careful consideration should always be given to the space where they will be planted. Know the ultimate size your evergreen will reach, both height and width, and be sure your space will accommodate your full grown evergreen. Often a gardeners biggest mistake is planting a cute little pine tree they bought at the nursery in a space that in a few years will be far to small for the growing tree. What a shame to have to remove a beautiful evergreen that could have provided a lifetime of enjoyment had the gardener planned more carefully. You can always fill that empty space you've saved to allow for growth of your evergreen with other plants that will be much easier to remove as your evergreen grows.

Baby Robin in Camouflage

Many species of birds and wildlife have chosen to live 
among our Austrian Pines and use them for food and shelter. 

Robins and Mourning Doves build nests in the strong branches.  Chickadees eat the bugs found among the needles. We have watched Hawks perch on the highest branches to use for a lookout. Mule Deer have found refuge in Winter months among these trees.

He Thinks We Can't See Him

If I Sit Very Still No One will Notice Me

Three Different Birds... Can you see them?

During the Summer months these pines are filled with birds of all kinds. We're thrilled that they consider our gardens home and always enjoy watching them nest and raise their little ones. Their morning songs awake us and fill us with delight for each new day we are blessed to live.

Austrian Black Pine Dressed in Winter White

And then there is Winter... our Austrian pines are royal dressed in the white of snow. They truly capture the essence of Winter beauty in our gardens. Look above at the blog header... one of my favorite Winter pics of our Austrian Pines.

What evergreen in our gardens will we highlight next?  
Stay tuned!


  1. Your evergreens are beautiful covered in snow as well as in the summer garden. Love those robin photos!

  2. I love your Austrian pines! We have a lot of evergreen trees here in our gardens, but only a few Austrian at the moment. Wonderful advice as to siting trees, too, so often I have been guilty of underestimating a tree's eventual size. Your scenery is gorgeous, thank you for showing us your view.

  3. You really do have a piece of heaven there.

  4. I have always loved the pics of your evergreens and I do not have the space for big ones, but I try to add smaller, slower growing ones...yours are just magnificent

  5. We can always count on the evergreens in our northern climates, huh? Amazing views with the mountains in the background and your beautiful landscaping in the foreground. Very nice!

  6. That baby robin is such a doll, we often find them around here in spring. Robins favor our home, I think they know that I am a Robin too!

  7. Carolyn, Your Pines are beautiful but are you not concerned they will block your stunning view? The birds sure do love the protection they offer. Sweet Robin!

  8. Thank you for all your sweet comments, we do live in a glorious place. And Carol, our mountains are well over 11,000 feet high, those trees will only reach 50 ft. They block the surrounding homes but not our beautiful mountains. We're blessed to see mountains from every window in our home.

  9. Carolyn how lovely, I do love evergreens and you are so right about checking out mature size. We have 4 on our small in town lot that are kind of big in proportion to the house. We have already remove 5 trees and I don't think I can part with any more but there are probably better selections out there. Love your blog, I will be back.

  10. I love the shapes of angiosperms when in gardens, but frankly if they are in contiguous plantings, they seem so boring. That is because in the tropics you will not see many species beside each other, unless they are intentionally planted together. That's why when i personally saw temperate climate trees, i felt like they all look the same. But your evergreens in your garden provides the warmth and life, esp in winter. true!


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