Weave a leafy tapestry

Plant contrasting conifers together to create a striking effect
Jim McCausland

By carefully composing conifers that have contrasting foliage colors and forms, Ralph Hastings and his late partner, Holly Turner, created a magnificent evergreen screen behind a garden bench.

Started 15 years ago, the planting is composed of dwarf conifers and other varieties that normally don't grow very large. Over time, the plants grew together and stretched up toward the light, just as trees do in a forest. The excellent growing conditions at Hastings's Froggwell Garden on Whidbey Island, Washington, prompted even the dwarf specimens to grow much taller than you'd expect.

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