Evergreens are the backbone on a winter garden. Back in the day when I worked in retail gardening, I would always suggest evergreens of some sort–whether broadleaf or conifer types–to those choosing a new planting because, I’d tell them “You want to have something to look at in the winter.” It really didn’t matter to me what they chose–there are evergreens for just about every gardening taste–but it was important to me that they had something beside bare dirt to look at.
For those that wanted something a little more out of the ordinary, there were weeping evergreens to choose from. These plants are just “variations on a theme.” The weeping white pine, pinus strobus ‘pendula’, is a weeping variety of the native Eastern White Pine. The weeping Norway spruce, picea abies ‘pendula’ is a weeping form of the Norway or European spruce. It was a mature Norway Spruce that I showed 10 days ago, in my post of January 4. (Here is that post).
These trees have different habits and growth rates. The more upright of the two is the pine, but it is also the faster growing. Faster growing is a relative term of course, but this tree will require more pruning to keep the weeping form–and to keep it from appearing “unkempt.”
The Norway spruce is slower growing but is also may need some training if it is purchased young. This tree can either be an upright accent tree, or it can assume a lower pendulous form, almost like a ground cover.
Both trees do best in full sun and well-drained soil. They prefer acidic soil but so long as your soil isn’t heavily alkaline, they’ll do fine.