Monday, October 26, 2009

Style trend: Junipers?

Lately I have been noticing that in the world of popular drought tolerant plants, there is one genus that teeters on the edge of popularity but hasn't quite made it back into style yet. In the debate, I am on the side pushing to bring back the juniper.

Junipers have a reputation: dated. They remind us of gardens that have been neglected since the 1960's. Hollywood Twisted Junipers, especially popular in the 60's, grow very large in their old age, and are by far the plant I remove from gardens the most often.

I think that they are about to see a huge rise in popularity and here is why: They are drought tolerant and they are green. Really green. Green-green in a way that most drought tolerant plants are not.

A few other reasons to recommend them:
They are so easy to grow. In fact, this is why I think they have such a bad reputation. They are still here from the 60's! While many garden plants have long since kicked the bucket, these just keep on growing.
They come in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They do not all have to be the huge shrubs we remember. Plenty are only 12"-18" tall, and many others are compact groundcovers.

So here is to rooting for the junipers! The one shown above is Juniperus scandia (18 tall). Below is Juniperus 'Old Gold' (3'), Juniperus 'Blue Chip' (8"), Juniperus 'Armstrongii' (40"), and Juniperus 'Arcadia (24").

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