I am a newbie to the Conifers. I joined the Conifer Society this year, just to go on the walk. I think I am hooked. Better yet, I think my husband is hooked which is surprising, since he sees gardening as work.
All of the gardens were impressive; however, Dennis Growh's is still my favorite. He has many conifers, but has a wonderful mix of flowering shrubs and perennials. We larned so much talking with him.
We kept hearing the term witches' brooms. Dennis explained how sometimes a tightly congested formation of foliage occurs. It is caused by insects or other biological pests and it bears a strong resemblance to a rustic broom. In medieval times they called these witches' brooms. The medieval folklore was that this was the resting place of witches while traveling. These cultivars are freaks of nature, and a perfectly well formed plant can produce a branch with different characteristics from the parent plant. These 'sport' or 'witches' brooms' turn well-adjusted gardeners into collectors of conifers.They develop what is referred to as ACS (Addicted Conifer Syndrome).