2016-12-01 / From The Garden

Pining to Change Your Landscape?

By Cynthia Gibson


The J.W. Daisy's White has silvery needles in the summer that turn white in winter. The J.W. Daisy's White has silvery needles in the summer that turn white in winter. Not all evergreens are green. There are exceptional varieties of evergreen trees and shrubs that will add amazing color and interest to your landscape. With a quick study, you can discover many interesting pine trees and shrubs that will peak your interest and pique up your yard.

These trees are stunning and thrive in our growing zone, 7a. They need to be planted in spring, but you will not find them in a garden center lot. Ask the nursery of your choice to order one for you in the next few months.

Golden Feathers is a spruce. It has a lovely cousin named Stilton Cheese, (yes, growers have a great sense of humor). These trees stand out in the landscape. The branches are a deep green, but the tips of every sprig of pine needles is yellowish white. Plant them in front of your house so others might admire them. J. W. Daisy's White is a show-stopper. During the summer its needles are a silvery green; this protects it from sunburn. The days are shorter (meaning less sunlight) during the winter, making the tree’s needles turn white. This variety is a dwarf, so planting a pair on either side of an entrance to your home would be lovely.


New growth of the red-tipped Norway spruce can range from purple to orange. This colorful tree is also deer resistant. New growth of the red-tipped Norway spruce can range from purple to orange. This colorful tree is also deer resistant. Certain pine trees turn bright yellow during the winter. Three are outstanding. One is Chief Joseph; another is Japanese Golden Needle. These two are slow growers, do not like wind, and both need stakes when first planted. Dropping temperatures change them from green to golden yellow; their winter color is really a thermometer. These trees are rather short, and only grow from six to eight feet tall.

The third and final yellow sparkler is metasequoia glyptostroboides, or Gold Rush Dawn Redwood. This yellow tree will grow to 50 feet and have a spread of 35 feet. It loves full sun, and needs the bright sunlight to produce its yellow-chartreuse colored needles. What is different about this tree is that its needles turn a golden orange to burnt orange-brown color in the fall. Its needles will drop during the winter; however, the big show is in the spring when the tree starts sprouting its bright yellow-green chartreuse needles once again. Take advantage of its height in your yard. Plant it where you will enjoy watching it change colors.


The body of the Stilton Cheese spruce is more of a silvery color, with almost white tips. The body of the Stilton Cheese spruce is more of a silvery color, with almost white tips. The most jaw-dropping variety must be the red-tipped Norway spruce. It grows with ease on Aquidneck Island to heights of up to 20 feet. The tips of the spruce are purple to hot pink. No need for Christmas lights for this tree!

In a nutshell, some evergreens are yellow, white, pink, or a mixture of these colors with a bit of green or silvery green. Nature is marvelous, and these trees are proof of that. Their boughs make lovely holiday swags.

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport.

Return to top