Small is relative. When I went looking for a small evergreen to fit into a narrow garden bed I have in the backyard, it seemed most nurserypersons’ version of dwarf varieties was my version of gigantic. A shrub growing to the height of 15 feet is not my idea of small. So I could’ve hugged John Statham of John’s Garden in Uxbridge, Ontario, when he took me seriously about wanting a really small evergreen and marched me right over to Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Butter Ball’.
It was love at first sight. With the evergreen, I mean.
Sometimes this little plant goes by the common name of False Cypress or Hinoki Cypress but I’d lobby for Adorable Bubba Shrub, instead. A little larger than a grapefruit, my Butter Ball will eventually grow to a maximum of about 10 inches. And it’ll take the little dickens 10 years. In all that time, it won’t need shearing or pruning of any sort, keeping it’s naturally rounded form as it grows. In fact, it’s a pretty undemanding plant, even tolerating some shade.
A bright green evergreen, Butter Ball has lemony yellow tips that will make a nice contrast to darker green plants. I can’t wait for next spring to plant a variety of other teeny plants and maybe some mosses.
Though the trend in mini-gardens or fairy gardens, complete with elfin figurines the size of your thumb, were all the rage at garden shows this year, I’ll forgo accessorizing my tiny tableau with anything other than diminutive green and growing things.
Though a 1:24th scale plastic BBQ, complete with food neatly arranged on the grill, is tempting.