Every garden needs a formal touch in some area, to give some class and a feel of neatness and order. Among the most popular ways to do that is by clipping plants into round balls or spheres. Many different evergreens can be used, and the results are often spectacular. However, this requires regular trimming, or your spheres will become very shaggy very quickly. The solution to ending all that work is to have a tree that is naturally spherical, and the Little Gem Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Little Gem’) is exactly that. This miniature evergreen is a perfect ball which never needs trimming. So now you can have those lovely spherical plants in the corners of your beds, in pots, in rows, or as interesting specimens among your other shrubs, but without the work of clipping and trimming.
Growing Little Gem Norway Spruce Trees
The Little Gem Norway Spruce is a wonder of nature, a dense, tiny plant that forms a perfect sphere never more than 2 feet across. This is the perfect plant that without any clipping at all grows naturally into a ball that will never get too large. This tree forms a dense cluster of short stems, covered in short needles, with the stems so closely-packed that they form a solid ball. The growth-rate is very uniform, so the ball just gets slowly larger, growing in all directions at the same rate and never sending up long shoots that need trimming. In spring the new growth is a yellow-green that makes your tree look like it is flowering. As summer comes the needles turn a deep green and stay that way for the rest of the year.
The Little Gem Norway Spruce is very hardy and will grow in every state, right across the country. It is especially useful in colder areas where the choice of plants is more limited. It should be planted in full sun in cooler areas and in partial shade in hot regions, where some shelter from the midday sun is beneficial. This tree is happy in most types of soil except for ones that are very alkaline and it will grow easily, without being bothered by pests or diseases. After you first plant your tree, keep it well-watered, especially during the first summer, but once established it will survive periods of drought without problems.
Uses in Your Garden
Use the Little Gem Norway Spruce Tree wherever you would like to have a formal ball. This could be on either side of an entrance, directly in the ground or in a pair of attractive pots. They could mark the corners of a flower bed, or be mixed with flowering plants or lower-growing shrubs in a garden bed. Wherever a formal touch is needed, this is the ideal plant, because nobody needs to be out in the garden all the time clipping away to keep an unruly plant neat – Nature will do it for you and this tree will never look untidy.
History and Origins of the Little Gem Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce Tree (Picea abies) grows naturally in Scandinavia, western Russia and the mountains of Europe. Although a handsome tree it does not have enough special features to be grown much in gardens, although it is grown in large plantations as a source of soft-wood lumber. Very occasionally, in some trees, a strange thing happens. From a branch a tiny cluster of dwarf branches will grow, called a ‘witch’s broom’. Pieces of these tiny branches will produce tiny plants if correctly grown and several other dwarf evergreens began the life in this way.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, at a nursery outside Hamburg, Germany, this happened on a Norway Spruce Tree and the resulting plant, called the Bird’s Nest Spruce (P. abies ‘Nidiformis’), is a very popular and widely grown dwarf evergreen still today. However although dwarf, it is not that small and many gardeners have been surprised when that cute little bush quickly grows into a plant 4 feet tall and 6 feet across – or even larger. Certainly it makes a beautiful specimen, but only if you have the room. Then, in the 1950’s, at the famous Grootendorst Nursery in the Netherlands, a witch’s broom developed on a Bird’s Nest Spruce tree and produced a truly miniature bush, a dwarf of a dwarf, we could say. This true dwarf is the Little Gem Norway Spruce, which only grows between 1 and 2 feet across, making a round globe.
Adding Little Gem Norway Spruce Trees to Your Garden
So for the perfect solution to putting formal touches in your garden without creating an endless chore for yourself, the Little Gem Norway Spruce is the answer. These trees take skilled work to produce, so they are always in short supply and often not available at all. Our stocks are limited, so order now to have formal shape in your garden without a life of clipping bushes. You may also want to consider browsing over our entire collection of spruce trees to add even more variety to your garden.