We love December because it’s fun, festive and all about tradition. So many of our beautiful trees and shrubs add natural style to outdoor holiday arrangements and decorations. After the holidays, they provide color and interest through the winter.
Plant small specimen evergreens in holiday containers, then transfer them to the landscape in spring. We took a walk through our nursery and selected a few of our favorites for timeless landscape appeal.
Happy holidays to you and your families from all of us at Loma Vista Nursery!
Sea Green Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Sea Green’)
Sea Green Juniper
Sea Green Juniper’s lush, mint-green foliage darkens in cooler weather. It has a dramatic compact and upright form with graceful arching branches. Low-growing, this evergreen shrub tolerates heat, drought and poor soil once established. Plant in soil that is well drained and slightly alkaline. Water regularly during the first growing season to establish healthy root systems. Prune to shape while wearing gloves to avoid skin irritation.
The fast-growing Sea Green Juniper is 4 to 6 feet tall and wide at maturity. Use it alone as a foundation plant or in groupings to cover wide areas. Other landscape uses are as screens and hedges. This is a good shrub to plant in areas where erosion is an issue. Add foliage to cut flower arrangements. Plant this juniper in full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Hicks Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’)
This columnar upright shrub pairs well with lilacs, weigela and spirea. Hicks Yew works well as an evergreen privacy screen, foundation plant and doorway accent at commercial and residential entryways. Branches have dense, dark-green foliage and produce ornamental red arils early in the fall. Birds and other small animals like yews for nesting and protection.
Slow growing, this yew will be about 12 feet tall with a 4-foot spread at maturity. It requires regular watering, especially during dry hot spells. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer to the soil in early spring. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 7.
Spartan Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’)
Rounded at the base with a gradual slimming rise that culminates in a gentle tip, Spartan Juniper adds stately style to residential and business landscapes. The conifer’s form is naturally symmetrical with densely branched, dark-green foliage that rarely needs pruning – unless you’re including this variety in a Mediterranean inspired garden! It sculpts beautifully as a topiary. Create a windbreak with Spartan Juniper at the edge of a business parking lot.
In formal gardens, plant several side-by-side to create a natural boundary screen in place of fencing along lot lines. Plan to draw many birds to this waterwise variety. They love it! Spartan Juniper tolerates heat, cold and drought and is highly adaptable in most well-drained soils. Water moderately but avoid planting in damp or wet areas of the landscape. Apply a slow release fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. It will take about 10 years to reach its mature size of 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Plant in full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Bird’s Nest Spruce (Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’)
Bird’s Nest Spruce
Low to the ground with a flat-top rounded habit, this appropriately named dwarf conifer is whimsical and carefree. Plant Bird’s Nest Spruce in rock gardens, as filler between upright conifers such as Spartan Juniper and above low stone walls where it can gently spill over. Outward curving branches have dense, dark green needles on a tight, compact shape.
Bird’s Nest Spruce needs little maintenance, tolerates mild drought and is adaptable to most soil types. Avoid wet, shady areas in the landscape and plant in slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Water regularly until established and apply fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. This spruce is deer and rabbit resistant. Slow growing, it will reach 3 to 5 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide at maturity. Plant in partial to full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 8.
Densiformis Yew (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’)
Rich, dark and evergreen – Densiformis Yew is easy care and disease resistant. In addition to its color, this Japanese yew keeps its structure year-round. Add its adaptability in size and as a workhorse shrub to the mix and it’s easy to understand why this is one of the most popular yews in the neighborhood. In residential and commercial landscapes, use Densiformis Yew as a foundation or hedging plant. Give definition to outdoor rooms with this shrub, and plant it in border and perennial gardens as well as in containers.
Year-round color and soft, fluffy new growth in spring are characteristics of this yew. Foliage matures to rich deep green through winter. Avoid planting Densiformis Yew in wet areas of the landscape. Other than that, it requires well-drained soil – and that’s about it. This low maintenance shrub tolerates pollution, rabbits and mild drought. In mid-summer, only light pruning is needed. Mature height is 4 feet; spread is 4 to 6 feet. Plant in full shade to full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 7.
Keteleeri Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Keteleeri’)
If your 2024 landscape designs require a hedge, consider Keteleeri Juniper. In addition to uses as hedges, street trees and foundation plantings in residential landscapes, this Chinese juniper is commonly found as an accent and specimen conifer in public parks and golf courses. With a lifespan of 70 years or more, Keteleeri is frequently chosen as a legacy tree and is commonly planted in cemetery landscapes. It has a dense pyramidal shape with upright light green foliage that is attractive year-round. The female cultivar produces gray-green, berry-like cones, which birds love.
Keteleeri Juniper tolerates deer, drought, salt and air pollution. It performs well in a wide range of soils but prefers sandy clay or loam that is well-drained. Avoid planting in generally damp or wet areas of the landscape. Fertilize this juniper in late winter or early spring with a slow-release mix formulated for trees and shrubs. Mature height is 15 to 20 feet, with a spread of 4 to 6 feet. Plant in full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Loma Vista Nursery is now taking professional trade orders for the spring 2024 growing season. Click here for our container order form. Click here for our in-ground tree order form. Visit our plant catalog for more information about Loma Vista Nursery grown perennial plants, trees and shrubs – all ideal for Midwest landscapes.
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