A 'Blue Cascade' blue atlas cedar wraps around a granite pillar to mark the entrance to the upper level conifer/zen garden. 'Toffee Twist' carex contrasts beautifully with the blue foliage of this conifer. Photo taken February, 2015, just after installation. Photo by Jay Sifford.
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Contorted. Most of these trees arose as sports from weeping conifers. They are weepers on steroids, each one developing its own unique shape; no two are alike. Contorted conifers make incredible specimen plants when used thoughtfully. Recommended conifers: Blue Cascade blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Blue Cascade’, zones 6 to 9, shown here) and Big Wave Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Big Wave’, zones 2 to 8).
Plants can be paired with boulders, architectural elements and sculptures to create high-powered vignettes that are greater than the sum of their parts. Here, a blue atlas cedar is wrapped around a granite parking lot car stop set on end to create an unexpected vignette. Either would be interesting on its own, but the marriage makes for a one-of-a-kind focal point. Turn your imagination loose to find just the right combination that tells your story.