I remember clearly the first time I saw a conifer tree 'smoke' with pollen blowing on the breeze during spring. I remain fascinated when I see this happening and it was probably a key moment when my general dislike of conifers started to be chipped away at. Suddenly the dull green cone-shaped trees that I thought were unchanging through the seasons, had a moment of interest.
Currently in the Courtyard I have a couple of conifers growing in containers: there is a variegated Crytomeria sekkan sugi, which I have had for a few years now. It is not a tall tree and is slow growing and so perfect to be in a container. In many ways it is a double-horror to me, conifer and variegated, yet it is a great addition to the Courtyard as it brightens up this shady space.
There is also a 'spare' cypress tree (just by the side of the Crytomeria) which was left over from when I planted up the front garden. It was a bit poorly for a while so I bunged it in a pot (specialist gardening technical term) and put it in the Courtyard. There is sits, not doing a huge amount, but I am happy enough with it.
Imagine my joy when I realise that both are getting ready to flower.
Tiny little peppercorn strobilus are forming. They are so cute and also just a little bit exciting.
I am in danger of getting fascinated by conifers, I have to beware such a turn of events, I might become a conifer convert.