NARGS Rocks: Small Woodies- Buy a Ticket


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Rhododendron keiskii Conifers Moltkia petraea Truro
Jamie Ellison Sandy Horn Tony Reznicek rock garden conifers

Dwarf Ericaceae for Alpine Gardens

Conifers for the Rock Garden

Dwarf Shrubs for All Seasons in the Rock Garden

All lectures will be recorded.
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Jamie Ellison

Sandy Horn

Tony Reznicek


Jamie Ellison will speak on small stature Ericaceous plants suitable for alpine gardens with acidic soils. Plants profiled will include dwarf selections of species and cultivars of these charming “Acid Loving” shrubs with a focus on dwarf Rhododendrons.

Jamie Ellison instructs in the Landscape Horticulture Technology Program at the Nova Scotia Community College, Kingstec Campus in Kentville, NS. He has worked at the Memorial University Botanical Garden in St. John's, Newfoundland, Jack Drake's Alpine Nursery in Scotland. In 1994 he started a specialty plant nursery called ‘Bunchberry Nurseries”. Jamie's specialties include, plant identification, plant garden design and horticultural presentations on unique plants and gardens.

If you’ve ever considered using conifers in your rock garden, this presentation is for you. Regardless of where you garden, how much room you have, or your level of expertise, there are conifers that will fit your climate and aesthetic. Sandy will address how dwarf and miniatures can enhance the texture, color, and year ‘round interest of any rock garden, covering such essential topics as how to choose the right ones for your space and how to ensure success, from selection and planning to planting and beyond. Join us in this exploration of the wonderful world of conifers.

Sandy Horn is the Director of the Southeast Region of the American Conifer Society and a member of the Piedmont Chapter of NARGS. She lives and gardens in Cary, North Carolina.

Shrubs are an important feature of all alpine and montane habitats and are essential for the rock garden. Even in a small rock garden, they bring a sense of naturalness, age, and permanence, as well as (depending on the species) vertical accents and winter interest. Well chosen, you also don’t have to replace them so often! Some are very showy in bloom, and a few even have fall color. The number of dwarf shrubs potentially available is very large, but in fact, many are too large for use in any but the largest rock gardens or for transitioning the rock garden into other areas of the garden. I’ll try to narrow the choices to the most interesting species small enough for any rock garden or even a larger trough. I’ll also provide some thoughts on using the various species, as well as offer suggestions on planting and propagation.

Kalmia polifolia
Daphne jasminea Conifers Daphne Money-Coutts Menzies