In other seasons, people tend to breeze right by conifers in favor of, say, roses that scent summer evenings or crabapple trees that flower in the spring. But in winter—especially after a dusting of snow—pines and other conifers are the plants that shine.
Recently, we ran a blog about cultivating awe on winter walks, on how to shift your energy and attention outward instead of inward for emotional well-being. One easy way to do that at the Chicago Botanic Garden or anywhere you walk is to seek out the company of evergreens. That includes most conifers, which are plants that produce cones—bald cypress, spruce, fir, etc.
As horticulturist for the Dwarf Conifer Garden, I look at evergreens all the time, but I’m still inspired by their majesty, as well as their ability to transform and brighten the landscape. The charm of conifers is subtle; you just have to slow down and get up close.