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Episode 107: Skinny Plants – FineGardening


They’re often called the “exclamation points” of the landscape, drawing attention in a not-so-subtle way. Of course, we’re talking about columnar (AKA fastigiate) plants and today we’re highlighting some of the best options. Skinny plants are invaluable for several reasons other than their ability to catch the eye. They also have a small footprint which makes them ideal for siting in narrow places including along the side of a house or in a tight spot between established plants in a border. Their habit is clear, concise, and always intriguing. Along with our guest, Richie Steffen from the Elizabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden, we’re discussing skinny trees, shrubs, and even a few perennials that will give your garden an instant focal point like no other.

Special guest: Richie Steffen is executive director for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, Washington.

 

Carol’s Plants

White Pillar® rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Gandini van Aart', Zones 5-9)
White Pillar® rose of Sharon, winter

White Pillar® rose of Sharon, summer
White Pillar® rose of Sharon, summer

White Pillar® rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Gandini van Aart’, Zones 5-9)

Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, Zones 4-9)
Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, Zones 4-9)

Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, Zones 4-9)

‘Green Arrow’ Alaskan cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Zones 4-8)
‘Green Arrow’ Alaskan cedar

‘Green Arrow’ Alaskan cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Zones 4-8)

‘Elegant Feather’ dog fennel
‘Elegant Feather’ dog fennel

‘Elegant Feather’ dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’, Zones 6–9)

 

Danielle’s Plants

Upright Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fastigiata', Zones 5-9)
Upright Japanese plum yew

Upright Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’, Zones 5-9)

Laced Up® elderberry (Sambucus nigra 'SNR1292', Zones 4-7)
Laced Up® elderberry (credit: Proven Winners ® Color Choice ®

Laced Up® elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘SNR1292’, Zones 4-7)

Purple Arrow® little bluestem
Purple Arrow® little bluestem

Purple Arrow® little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Nonwrr’, Zones 3-9)

‘Slender Silhouette’ sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’, Zones 5-9)
‘Slender Silhouette’ sweetgum (credit: Doreen Wynja)

‘Slender Silhouette’ sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’, Zones 5-9)

 

Guest’s Plants

Richie Steffen is executive director for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, Washington.

Tokyo wood fern (credit: Richie Steffen)
Tokyo wood fern (credit: Richie Steffen)

Tokyo wood fern (Dryopteris tokyoensi, Zones 5-8)

Golden English yew (Taxus baccata 'Standishii’, Zones 5-8)
Golden English yew (credit: Richie Steffen)

 

Golden English yew (Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’, Zones 5-8)

Primo ™ Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'IslPrim', Zones 2-8)
Primo ™ Eastern arborvitae (credit: Richie Steffen)

Primo ™ Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘IslPrim’, Zones 2-8)

 



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