Conifers for small gardens

Evergreen and reliable, conifers are elegant trees with sculptural foliage, beautiful cones and sometimes autumn colour, too. Several are compact enough to fit into a smaller garden: here are five of our favourites from the range available in our garden centre.

Korean fir (Abies koreana): Startling steel-blue needles make this fir stand out: it's a low, wide-spreading tree, and the cones are purplish blue too. Grows, slowly, to about 3m.

Cryptomeria japonica: Very handsome upright tree with sweeping blue-green branches ('Elegans Aurea' is yellow-green) which flush bronze in late autumn. Grows between five and 10m tall depending on variety.

Picea pungens 'Globosa': Low-growing spruce which gradually forms a spreading dome of sharp, stiff grey- green needles. The height and spread are just one metre.

Columnar yew (Taxus baccata 'Standishii'): Evergreen yews are great in small gardens as they're easily clipped into shape. 'Standishii' does it all by itself, forming a golden column 1m tall and just 18cm wide.

Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba): The conifer that doesn't look like a conifer: ginkgos are airy trees with delicate-looking fan-shaped leaves which turn butter-yellow before falling in autumn. Reaches 5-10m tall.

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Holt for more information and advice about choosing conifers suitable for small gardens.

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