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We’ve got a thing for small stuff—whether boxes of mouthwatering petit fours, tabletop vignettes of teensy felt Christmas mice, or the wise-cracking Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones. So, with the season of evergreens in full swing, it’s probably no surprise that one of our current small-time obsessions is dwarf conifers. They’re hardy, can be grown almost anywhere in North America, range in color from yellowish to hunter green to purple-blue, and take on a variety of eye-catching shapes . . . with oddly suggestive names like globose, pendulous, and prostrate (we kid you not).

The starlike and compact Pinus densiflora and lush Picea omorika are tops on our list, but chat with the folks at your local nursery to choose the conifers that are best for your region and landscape. Need some inspiration? Check out the Chicago Botanic Garden’s extensive beds. Then choose a planter or two, like the ones below, and give your porch, deck, or entryway an infusion of lively color.

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