The genus Cedrus gives [us the Cedar of Lebanon (C. Libani), the Indian Deodar (C. deodara), and the Atlas Cedar (C. atlantica), of which there are popular forms called aurea and glauca.
There are many forms of deodara, notably argentea (silvery), aurea (golden), crassifolia, robust a and viridis. C. atlantica is the most generally useful of the Cedars. It is beautiful both as a young and a mature tree, the habit being good and the colours rich without being sombre. There are some splendid examples near Reading in Berkshire.
The Cedars will thrive in most good loamy soils, in fairly sheltered places, and never look better than on the farther confines of a large lawn.
The Cryptomerias, forms of the Japanese timber tree, C. japonica, which is popularly known as the Japan Cedar, are graceful small trees, suitable for shrubberies. One sees many varieties in the nurseries, differing more or less widely in habit. Some of the best of these are elegans (syn. Veitchii), Lobbii, araucarioides, nana and spiralis. The planter should pick out from a collection in the nursery the forms which he likes the best. Deep fertile soil and a sheltered site are necessary to get fine specimens; but they will thrive on chalk, merely growing more slowly.
The genus Cupressus gives us the popular Cypresses, of which Lawson's(C. Lawsoniana) a Californian species, is by far the most popular. This upright, columnar tree, with its dense green foliage, is largely planted. In quantity, it is monotonous, but individual trees, whether on the lawn or in the border, are pleasing. Few Conifers have produced more forms and some of the varieties are more popular than the type. The planter, seeing a collection in a nursery, can make his choice from such forms as erectaviridis (bright green), Smithii, Alumi (blue), Fraseri, alba-spica (white-tipped), filifera (thread-like), gracilis aurea and g. pendula, nana glauca (dwarf) and lutea. These prettily tinted forms of Lawson's Cypress are admirably adapted for planting in shrub-borders. They could be associated with flowering shrubs, or used as components of Conifer-beds, which can be made extremely attractive features of a garden. They will thrive on most soils, and do not at all object to chalk. In such soils they grow slowly, and a nice collection can therefore be formed in a limited space, for they do not quickly crowd each other, even when planted as close as four feet apart. They make a surface net of fibrous roots, and can be shifted with balls at almost any period of the year, provided the soil is moist. Another use for these pretty little Cypresses is to grow them in large window boxes for winter ornament.
Macrocarpa, a strong upright grower, is a fine Cypress; Crippsii and lutea are forms of it.
Fig. The Silver-Frosted Garden Fir. Picea pungens glauca. For description see Chapter 17. Photo by R. A. Malby.
A less popular, but still desirable species of Cupressus is nootkatensis, a weeping form of which called pendula is good for lawn-planting. There are several other forms.
Several of the Cupressuses, notably obtusa and pisifera and their varieties, are grown in nurseries and gardens under the generic name Retinospora. This has become so well established, as to defy the efforts of botanists, who seek to merge Retinospora in Cupressus. C. (or R.) obtusa is a Japanese tree, most often represented in gardens by some of its forms, which are very popular. Obtusa aurea, alba spica, compacta, filicoides, nana aurea and pyramidalis are a few of those much-planted forms of obtusa. As regards pisifera, which is also a Japanese species, filifera and the feathered forms plumosa, p. aurea and p. argentea, also squarrosa, and s. sulphurea, are the most popular. They are beautiful little shrubs, and may well be associated with the forms of Lawson's Cypress and other small, neat Conifers in special beds. They seem to be quite at home on chalk and move well. Retinospora ericoides is a low dense grower suitable for the rock garden.
The genus Ginkgo is important only in connection with the species biloba, which is popularly known as the Maidenhair Tree, because of the resemblance in shape which the flat-lobed leaves bear to the well-known Adiantum. It is a handsome Chinese tree, quite good enough for a lawn specimen, and suitable for the mixed border. It does not soon attain to a great size, consequently is valuable for small gardens, more particularly because it will thrive in towns. It is not evergreen. The Maidenhair Tree is not very particular as to soil, and might well be regarded, in view of its distinct and graceful appearance, as one of the most important of garden Conifers. The yellow, cherrylike fruit is worthy of note.
The Junipers (genus Juniperus) include several more interesting kinds than the common species (communis) which is a native of Britain, and yields berries that are made use of for flavouring gin. Thus, there are the Chinese species, chinensis and its varieties; sabina, a North American tree; and Virginiana, the Red Cedar. The varieties of chinensis include aurea, albo-variegata, glauca and Smithii. Fastigiata is a pyramidal variety of communis and glauca a glaucous form. There are many forms of Virginiana, of which the most popular is perhaps the drooping variety pendula. Light, loamy soil suits Junipers better than heavy ground, but however well provided for in this respect, they remain of low stature, and are therefore suitable for small gardens.