Ahhhh! Now I'm feeling cooler. Nothing like the sight of an umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) no matter what the time of year, to remind me of the beauty and value of dark green backgrounds, against which are highlighted colorful blooms and the shapes of other foliar delights. Umbrella pines are easily among the very finest of needled evergreens, Their needles-which look like two side-by-side needles fused together--also have a specatacular dark green sheen that looks stellar from January to December, (hough the straight species often gets a bit bronzey in the depths of winter). And finally, those fat, fleshy needles are arranged in cool-looking whorls along the branches, crowning the tip of every branch with regal splendor. Though they are reputed to be very slow growing, mine are chugging right along and often put on aabout a foot a year.