I don't see any mention of dwarf conifers anywhere? Does no one like them?
I think quite a lot of folks like 'em, Bob. And the Czechs in particular are just crazy for Witches' Brooms and these plants were very popular purchases, being ferried homewards by all manner of visitors after the Czech Conference in 2013. Some of the gardens where these are displayed are quite magical places. I fear that in the USA, as in the UK, there have been so many people "burned" by the purchase of "dwarf" conifers that have turned out to be no such thing, that these plants have been largely side-lined- at least as far as discussing them is concerned.
Too often such plants turn out to be merely slow-growing, or worse, slow-growing but only for the first few years! The dwarf conifer lasses at the alpine plant shows in the UK are usually quite well-supported ( though not all the entries are truly dwarf ) and can show some really choice little trees. They're just "unfashionable" I guess!
Ian and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)
Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Huh. Well, look here:http://paridevita.com/2013/01/23/trip-to-jerrys-nursery/
I live down the street, more or less, from Jerry Morris. I was really thinking about building a wooden trough, since I didn't feel like making yet another hypertufa one, and there's a long wooden trough in the pictures in the above post. I might not make one that long ...
So I was really thinking about two things at once (two more than usual, for me). Most of Jerry's conifers stay small.
extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C
Oh! That's a great place! We are both bonsai fans too - so the idea of being able to buy those trees already begun on their journey to Jin with the driftwood/deadwood pieces is really tempting. I've only recently stopped hyperventilating over the totally glorious conifers I saw in the Czech Republic. Darn things were growing like little green ( and blue and grey) weeds!
It really is an amazing place. Or was. I'm not sure of the status of the nursery these days. The pictures were taken quite a while ago, at the plant sale of the Rocky Mtn. Chapter of NARGS, and I should have brought (should have had, in order to bring) thousands of dollars.
I did manage to get a few cultivars of Picea pungens which are not in commerce. Here's a picture, taken a few minutes ago, showing 'Haley's Blue' (which is available), and then, continuing to the right, 'Clark's Tiny', MU 92, and 319. At extreme right is a Pinus ponderosa, in the trough, which is at least twenty years old.
And a close-up of 319. Apparently this one, like MU 92, wasn't good enough to get a name.
We find Picea pungens are very susceptible to aphid attack here - can that be a problem for you in Colorado?
It's too cold for aphids here......
But no, aphids aren't a problem. Spruce budworm is, but that keeps the plants smaller, and there's a wasp that feeds on the budworm.
"Spruce budworm" isn't a term familiar to me - had to look it up - we do get chomping critters on conifers but I'm not expert enough t say if they are those exact beasts. Here they don't keep plants small as such....... they just mess them up thoroughly, denuding sections at great speed.
Seems your budworms are species of Choristoneura while our problem chompers are usually sawflies - Neodiprion sertifer
These things bore into the new growth, and kill it. Like "candling" the conifers, sort of. The dead growth can be snapped in half, revealing the larva, at which point a wasp comes by, and that's the end of that.
I don't talk about this too much lest one of my spray-happy neighbors gets an idea in their head.
Here's a middling-quality picture of Picea engelmanii 'Eagle River', another one of Jerry's. (Incidentally, the container--not the tree--has been outdoors for about fifty years, but only recently--this century--began to crack.)
Okay - that's a form of attack "our" critters don't seem to use ( hope I didn't speak too soon.
"Candling" is something that takes quite a bit of time here as we do our share to keep things in proportion to their allotted space. A simple technique which I am surprised more folks do not employ on their garden pines.
I had already noted your blue ceramic pots - we have a selection of those here , too, which look very similar - we have square and round types too. I guess ours probably date from the early to mid 1980s - no casualties so far, not even in the 9 plus weeks of minus 19 degrees C the other year - which was a pleasant surprise( the lack of pot damage, not the cold weather!!)
Is your area free from Cooley spruce gall adelgids, Bob? They occur here though it is much colder than your area (they are not generally devastating, so far as I know). We had a small infestation on a spruce when we lived up in Edmonton.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm