I believe gardening can be a key component of gratifying lifestyles. How to do that is the theme of this blog. Gardening can create a desirable living environment, provide us an avenue to connect with other living things, and offer us a creative outlet. It is an entree to a system of life on earth that can be as simple as enjoying a homegrown carrot or as complex as massaging a garden into a plant community in equilibrium. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A CLOSER VIEW
Japanese umbrella pine (Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera') is not a dwarf, but it is a fairly small, slow growing tree a with distinctive growth habit. If it isn't pruned it grows into a very uninteresting solid mass of foliage. The plant pictured above, as seen many years ago at the Cincinnati Zoo had been beautifully pruned to show off its many attractive features such as the orange bark, vase shaped growth habit and flat topped branching.
This dwarf eastern white pine (Pinus strobus 'Nana') also seen a number of years ago at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. has a fascinating form that in a better setting and without the gravel and ring of exposed edging could be the centerpiece of a wonderful garden composition.
My own dwarf eastern white pine is only eight years from the container nursery and already I think it is starting to show some interesting branching habits that will only become more interesting with age if I prune with care. It may be hard to imagine, but shortly before taking this photograph I opened up the interior of this plant and removed a great number of branches.