Rock Garden Tour at Bob Counts – Conifer Extraordinaire
Dwarf Conifer tour
By Lynn Obermoeller
Bob has a beautifully landscaped front yard nicely shaded with a variety of hosta. He said he has over 140 different hosta in both his front and back yard and 110 dwarf or unusual conifers and 8 types of Scotch Pine.
In the front surrounding the porch lamp was slender nikko duetzia and the tree close by was premus subhirtella, pendula or Plena Rosea Higans Weeping Cherry – I liked the bark because it looked striped going horizontal rather than vertical like most bark.
There were four different types of hosta in the front that came from one hosta, although I can’t remember which one it came from, but the four were: 1) June Fever, 2) Orange Marmalade 3) Green Filigree Lace? 4) Pacific Blue
Empress Wu was also in the front, which is supposedly the biggest hosta around. I liked the hosta called Xfire and ice and one called Cherish.
The only green weeper was in the front yard too. I spotted a Weeping Blue Atlas, which I have in my front yard!
Before we headed to the back, Bob talked about people’s names and how he has been fascinated with them because of his mother’s name: DeGuire Dit La Rose, which translated means: Warrior the Rose. He knew a lady named Mrs. Bugg and when she was in the hospital delivering her baby, she ended up naming her daughter Ima June. (Ima June Bugg)
Through the garage and to your left was a small pond area holding some Koi and maybe goldfish. There were two 20 pounders in there. All around the deck and throughout the garden he had fake bugs. I accidentally touched one of the antennas and it scared the ba-geebees out of me until I realized the bug was plastic.
Bob had an interesting mulch throughout and he says he puts it down every two years: chipped (Southern) pine bark. It’s not good on a hill side, but there’s no surface tension and it will not shed water or compress, according to Bob. To him, it’s the best mulch around.
I’m going to list some of the names I managed to write down, but I’m not sure if I have them correct, so warning you ahead of time:
Taxiodum (secrest) bald cypress (very hardy)
Hinoki Cyprus (has curly like leaves)
Tom Thumb (bright yellow)
Japanese White Pine – pinus paruflorous
Chinese Need Junifer (needles are sticky)
Gay Blade (most perfect shaped hosta)
Sergeant’s Plant (Painted Lady)
Norway Vermont Gold (always stays gold)
Arizona Cypress (cumpressus Arizonica spire)
Mother Lode (ground cover) Juniperius Horizatalis
Colorado Blue Spruce (has no clue what it will do every year) Very hardy in MO
Jack Pine (pinus banksiana) – it used to be used to make turpentine
Pinus Parvilflora, Ogon Janome (yellow tips)
Warthog (juniferus horiz) grows ½ inch a year
Japanese pine (couldn’t get name, but it has round little pine cones and yellowish light green tips)
Blue Birch tree (won’t find in any nursery) Bob calls it a “Muscle Tree” – you’ll find it under other trees, and it grows where fresh springs are.
Bob loves Star Trek, Deep Space Nine and another sci-fi show and there was a ship on one of these shows that was superior to them all – the leaf on this particular tree looked just like the space ship, which is why he bought the tree – Japanese Maple Red filigree lace
Pinus Bungeama, lace bark pine (bark was bluish and swirly)
Japanese Maple – Lions Mane
Cathedral Windows – hosta
Oriental Spruce – (gold on top, green under tips, bright green)
Olga (hosta, bright green) Bob’s favorite
Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (hosta)
Weeping White Spruce (picea glacua pendula) Bob feels it’s the most beautiful tree on Earth.
Bald Cypress Dwarf
Green Arrow (False Alaskan Cypress)
Forest Pansy Red Bud
I would have been there all day to get the names of everything in his garden. Bob shared his knowledge and would answer any question you asked. He got started with conifers by joining the American Conifer Society and says that the best place to start – and to also acquire conifers. When joining - 1st stage you accumulate and learn, 2nd stage you do something for the organization, 3rd stage you give away plants to organizations (he gives to the college).
Bob suggests going to Woodstock, IL for acres of conifers. I can’t remember if he said the name of this place: Fox Little Pines?
Not only did Bob share his knowledge, his beautiful garden, but he had drinks and snacks after the tour. I don’t know about you, but I’d say Bob lives up to his name – he “Counts!”