Coenosium Gardens visit, Sept, 2011

firefightergardener(7/8)September 26, 2011

I made another happy visit for me to Coenosium Gardens this weekend. It was an extra-happy visit as I picked up a copy of Bob's new book, Small Conifers for Small Gardens. Boy, it's beautiful, loaded with glossy photos of great plants. I think it appeals to both collectors like myself, with it's stories of cultivar origins and old-specimen photos for reference but also to weekend gardeners and new collectors as it also has 'alternates' to cultivars if you're looking for a certain effect instead of a 'name'. This time of the year is great for planning, dreaming and buying new plants and this is certainly a great guide to do all three.

I also picked up one of the gold seedlings I am buying from Bob. The story has been getting around but a quick summary of the origins is this: About 12 years ago Bob crossed two Picea abies cultivars, 'Acracona', a heavy coning variety with his own plant discovery, 'Gold Drift' and came out with a couple dozen seedlings. Almost all had golden qualities but they displayed widely varying growth tendencies from small upright dwarves to spreaders to upright weeping mounds, and many also had the coning tendency from 'Acracona'. You couldn't choose two better plants to mix. Well OK, Abies koreana 'Kohout's Icebreaker X Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns' would be epic, but goodluck on that one! :)

Ultimately Bob decided to introduce and sell grafts from six of these varieties. The other plants, he has made available to anyone interested. See the website for details but each order comes with the original plant(if you can work out getting it home), the naming/registering rights and twenty healthy grafts to sell, introduce, trade, etc.

It's a fantastic way for someone to put their 'hallmark' on a plant, and a special one at that. I couldn't resist.

Picea abies 'Catharine's Golden Heart'. Named for my beloved, huge-hearted mother, it's a pendulous, spreading plant with gold needles(this specimen was in the shade this Summer)and lots of future cones coming as well, similar to 'Acracona'. Needless to say, it's my most treasured plant now.

As always, I had the pleasure to wandering Bob's huge gardens. Bob accompanied me for a few hours, showing me various cool discoveries and some renovation he had done recently. Some smaller plants were uncovered and others will be given more light and more space to resume their full glory. Sunlight conditions weren't friendly to photography but I took many nevertheless.

Picea pungens 'Wendy'

Picea pungens 'Silver Threads'. A seedling from Larry Stanley(I believe), that pushes white-gold before turning to a pale white-blue in later Summer.

Picea X Troemner(pungens 'Kosteri' x omorika). An OLD specimen!

Picea martinezii

Picea orientalis 'Nutans'. A monster. Careful walking too close, it might reach out and pull you in.

Picea pungens 'Porcupine'. 30 years old?

Abies pinsapo 'W.B. #7'

Picea abies 'Witches Broom'

Cedrus deodara 'Scott'. No pruning training here, that's it's natural form.

Abies veitchii 'Rumburk'. I'll leave verification to Bob here, I have a hard time telling the differences between these three. Pretty sure it's 'Rumburk' though.

'Rumburk' with a tenant.

Pinus parviflora 'Richard Lee'. Hard to get established but sure is a great tiny parviflora.

Abies procera 'Pesek'. Love the nobles.

'Mikulasovice'. Unusual look.

Abies lasiocarpa 'Lopalpun'. One of the best true miniatures there is.

Pinus parviflora 'Kinpo'

May need help here, think it was labeled as Pinus jezoensis 'Nana Kalous'. I have a plant that is similar both in look and name: Picea sitchensis 'Nana Kalous'. Maybe Bob can chime in here.

Pinus mugo 'Jakobsen'. What a plant.

Taxus baccata 'Icicle'

Abies alba 'Hedge'

Abies borisii-regis 'J.K. Greece'. Proper spelling?

For some reason, I happened to end up in the nursery section towards the end of my tour and felt compelled to take a few plants home!

The 'backroom' area has some amazing plants including many cool cultivars on standard. Bob cannot ship these under normal conditions, so it's best to visit in person if you're interested.

Wipe that drool! :)

I'll post some more photos later this week.


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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I should email you my wishlit so you so you can hand pick my order! Thanks for sharing by the way.

Is that a section of Abies koreana 'Icebreaker' three pics up from the bottom?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Yes, leaving a nursery empty-handed is like leaving a restaurant without having had a meal! Especially a nursery stocked with little wonders like those shown! Wish there was such a place around here.Thanks for the tour! T.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Wonderful shots! Thanks Will!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:27PM
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Will, those are Abies koreana 'Kohout's Icebreaker' specimens in three gallon pots. I believe Bob uses them as stock plants. He said he'd sell one for your first born. lol Just kidding. I think Bob is sold out of 'Kohout's Icebreaker' for this year but as you can see, he'll be working on more specimens for 2012 and the last year 2013.

I think he has some on standard, but again unless you want to pay a very high shipping price or visit in person, I don't think these are options.

Glad you enjoyed, to be there is person is obviously a great treat!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:34PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I can hardly stand it.

Thanks Will,


    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 4:41PM
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Some more shots:

Picea omorika 'Gunter'. Epic!

Taxus baccata 'Green Diamond'. Nice, wide and lush green.

Abies grandis x 'Leuteneggeri'. Abies grandis and Abies concolor cross. Great color.

Picea abies 'Gold Finch'. Bob's 14th gold seedling.

Picea glauca 'Dick North'

Picea omorika 'Frohnleiten'. Bob noticed a golden branch recently.

A closeup.

Picea glauca 'Ducharme'. Seen this listed as Picea abies as well.

Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe' and I think Abies koreana 'Kristallkugel'.

Abies procera 'Popisil'. A great, true miniature. Hard to find.

Pinus strobus 'Louie'

Lost the name on this one(which is not the same as the tag)

Picea abies 'Aarburg'. Awesome monster.

Picea sitchensis 'Virgata'. Another monster, with great color.

A very narrow Serbian spruce. I'll need Bob to help remind me of the name.

Picea orientalis 'Silver Seedling'

Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns', sending a new leader.

Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns'. Less straight down weeping to this specimen but Bob is sure of it's origins and authenticity.

Some more shots.

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Curtis'

Sciadopitys verticillata 'Cristate Form'

Picea glauca 'Cecilia'

Pinus parviflora 'Catherine Elizabeth'. Pretty damn choice!

Picea omorika 'Elisabeth'

Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe' foliage and pest assistance.

Hope you enjoyed!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 9:55PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

re 'Gunter' and 'Silver Seedling' and wow. Thanks for sharing the pics and thanks to Bob for planting them!

I really wish I could grow the Abies procera species. Same for Sequoiadendron and same for Cedrus.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:25PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Thanks for eye candy Will. That Pinus parviflora 'Catherine Elizabeth' is indeed very nice.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:54PM
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Will (from WI), I have been growing Abies procera "La Graciosa" through two winters up here so far- you should be able to grow it in a sheltered location.

I agree that the Silver Seedling is gorgeous! I wonder how old it is?


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Nice Louie! Thanks for the tour.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 4:54AM
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Ha ha, frogs sitting in conifers, thanks for capturing those two, adds an extra habitat dimension to the wonderful specimens.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:48AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Impressive and I can see why you love to visit there. Beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:24AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

As always, thanks!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:46AM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

So, after Will's outstanding cavalcade of excellent photographs, I have found a few plants that I need:
Sciadopitys verticillata 'Cristate Form' ('Cristata')
Picea glauca 'Dick North'
Picea omorika 'Gunther'
Maybe they'll be in the fall catalog... :-)

Will, I believe the name of the Pinus mugo with a few white needles is 'Milky Way'. Does this sound familiar?

Thanks for sharing with us all!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 10:45AM
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nice rare conifers you showed us. Thanks!

Do you know something about Sequ.gig. Curtis? Is this a lower growing spezimen or a dwarf one? Never heard in Europe from this cultivar.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:24PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Nice tour at my friend Bob's garden!
Thanks for the nice pics of the beautiful speciments.
Back in 2004 I saw many of those I saw myself, only then they were a little bit smaller :0)

Some comments to these nice pics:
Abies pinsapo 'W.B. # 7' doesn't exist.
There were only 4 brooms found in Spain by my friend Guenther Eschrich...

Picea abies 'Witches' Broom' is the wrong cultivar name for what is Picea abies 'Witches' Brood', formerly named as 'Millstream Broom'...

Yep, that Abies veitchii 'Rumburk' is right to the name.
In the beginning it will grow as a flat topped broom, later on a leader will develop...

Pinus parviflora 'Kinpo'
Must bin written as 'Kin-po'

That Picea jezoensis 'Nana Kalous' isn't the right one for sure.
The true 'Nana Kalous' was found as a witches' broom in the Czech Republic and will grow only about 5 cm/year.
Will, if you've the same one then you both have the wrong one in your collections.
May be it reverted or it's just the species Picea jezoensis...
'Marianske Lazne' and 'Marienbad' are synonyms for the 'Nana Kalous'.

Abies borisii-regis 'J.K. Greece' is also written in the right way.
Till now it's the only witches' broom found of this species.
The J.K. means Joerg Kohout.

Picea omorika 'Gunther' must bin written here as 'Guenther' becuase the double dots here at this forum will give us some troubles...

Lucky Bob, again he found a light coloured mutation in a Picea omorika cultivar, formerly in a Picea omorika 'Pendula Major' and this time in a Picea omorika 'Frohnleiten'.
Did he spray some special stuff at these plants so they made these mutations? :o)

The Abies koreana 'Witches' broom at the left of the Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe' is indeed the 'Kristallkugel'.
It's recognizable because it's flat topped...
Till recently I always thought that both were German cultivars but I found out that one of them is an U.S. selection...breaking news!

Abies procera 'Popisil'
Must bin written as 'Pospisil'.

Sam is right about the Pinus mugo var. pumilio 'Verijeken Seedling' which was only a temporary cultivar name.
The proper cultivar name now is 'Milky Way'.

That last pic of the Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns' isn't the right one, it's Picea omorika 'Bruns' which isn't the same as 'Pendula Bruns'.
They even didn't derive from the same nursery...

The full cultivar name of the Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Curtis' is 'Philip Curtis'...
it's one of only a few witches' brooms of this species...

I hope this is good helping info :O)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:50PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Wolfgang, your memory isn't working well, is this because you're getting older? ;0)
A couple of years ago you received a 'Philip Curtis' from me :0)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Thanks Edwin, lots of corrections for me to make in my records. Some were just typos. You may be helping me(if willing) until the end of days with the vast amount of conifers out there and the confusion amongst names, origins and spellings.

""Lucky Bob, again he found a light coloured mutation in a Picea omorika cultivar, formerly in a Picea omorika 'Pendula Major' and this time in a Picea omorika 'Frohnleiten'.
Did he spray some special stuff at these plants so they made these mutations? :o""

Maybe just a numbers game? When you have 20,000(?) plants and 5,000 specimens 10+ years or older, I think the odds for mutations are pretty good! :)

Thanks Edwin/Sam.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:47PM
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blue_yew(Z9 Devon UK)

What is the white needled sciadopitys? below the
Sequoiadendron gigantium 'Philp Curtis'

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 7:52AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Euan, that difficult to say from this pic.
If it's a realy white one then it could be 'Perlenglanz', but because of the light issue it could also be one of the yellow needled cultivars...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Hello Edwin,

my memory is well, if I must remember plants. In other things there are much more problems. I know ' Philip Curtis ' very well and your plants are still alive. But only ' Curtis' I was not sure, if this is the same cultivar.

So, thanks for your help


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:37AM
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Bumping this link in case those looking to shop around for conifers need some enabling!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Thanks - I never get tired of looking at this thread.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:15AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

And again the 'Silver Seedling' just amazes me.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:17PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

What gorgeous photos. Thank you so much for posting them. I am thrilled to see a large Louie. I can't wait until mine gets that big.

I'm sorry to be bringing up old threads but I could not get on Gardenweb for a couple weeks and am not furiously trying to get caught up. I don't want to miss anything you guys said. I'm really surprised the rest of you were able to get online. hmmmm Must have been my computer, but that is odd as I was able to get into other websites.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:51PM
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