While not conifers...I'd offer that enthusiasts often appreciate diversity and companionship in plantings. There are a whole lot of things that help set off the consistency of conifers - not the least of which might include a viburnum or two...
I have been watching your thread (you know you are crazed, right?). It made me remember one of the childhood experiences I had that probably contributed to my own mania for plants. I must have been about 10-12, and my best friend and I would occasionally take a not-shortcut to go through someones yard, they must have had a couple acres. It was all trees and bushes, obviously planted on purpose. By then we knew the usual forest trees because we played in the woods a lot (this was Ohio), and we tried to guess what these odd trees were. There seemed to be one of everything, and I did not recognize any of them. Finally one day a man came out of the house (I learned much later he was a retired botany professor). He must have been surprised to notice two little girls trying to identify his trees, but he took us on a tour, and explained what they were, and how to tell them apart. Another time he showed us how he planted a shrub. Looking back, I bet he got a kick out of our interest, it's fun to share this stuff.
It's hot now in Michigan for digging-make sure you stay hydrated!
So today I was back in Chicago and wanted to check out how my orphaned trees were doing. I especially wanted to see my 12 foot Ginkgo biloba 'Ross Moore'-- a truly pendulous beauty I had in the front yard and ugh! It was gone! As well as 'DJ's Bow Tie', 'Majestic Butterfly', 'Robbie's Twist', 'Mutant Weeper', 'Tubiformis', 'Jade Butterflies', 'Saratoga', a gorgeous Pinus strobus 'Pendula', Abies concolor 'Candicans', Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit', Betula niagra 'Summer Cascade'. All gone and replaced with a bunch of Home Depot duds. I couldn't see into the back yard. Probably better that way. I don't get it. Sad day.
Maybe we need a clause in home sale contracts that the new owner cannot replace our trees. Or if they want to, tell us before the sale so we can dig up and take with us or give to someone who wants them!
Do you get all or most of your trees from Gee Farms? I had the pleasure of visiting them a few years ago. I had room for only 6 plants in my hatchback, but they are all unusual and have done well. Gee Farms is a dangerous stop for any plant lover.
Dybbuk, you have so inspired me. I can't afford the plants in the quantity I want to plant so I've started as many seeds as I could and will be really busy trading for cuttings that won't come true with seeds. Thanks for spreading your passion.