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 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 of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle.
White Pillar® rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Gandini van Aart’, Zones 5–9)
Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, Zones 4–9)
‘Green Arrow’ Alaskan cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Zones 4–8)
‘Elegant Feather’ dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’, Zones 6–9)
Upright Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’, Zones 5–9)
Laced Up® elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘SNR1292’, Zones 4–7)
Purple Arrow® little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Nonwrr’, Zones 3–9)
‘Slender Silhouette’ sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’, Zones 5–9)
Richie Steffen is executive director of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle.
Tokyo wood fern (Dryopteris tokyoensi, Zones 5–8)
Golden English yew (Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’, Zones 5–8)
Primo™ Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘IslPrim’, Zones 2–8)