Reach for the sky

I’ve been sitting next to my nice warm woodstove while enjoying the snow falling outside my large picture window. From where I sit, this unusual snowfall has covered the landscape almost as if giant spoonfuls of whipped cream have been dropped and plopped on all the plants, completely covering the ground. One of my conifers seems to be stretching up and out of that whipped cream coating as if someone had just given it the command, “Reach for the sky!”

Juniperus communis 'Compressa'

Reminiscent of the stately Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’ stands tall and narrow like a marble column in the ancient city of Rome. The one I’m looking at must be 20 years old and it stands approximately eight feet tall with a width of just over a foot.

Unlike the Italian Cypress, ‘Compressa’ is hardy into Zone 4 (-30º F) so I know this is a plant that my friends in the mid-west can also enjoy. When acquired as a young plant, ‘Compressa’ is excellent in the rock garden and very suitable for use in container gardening with groups of miniature conifers and selected annuals or perennials or by itself. Mine is planted in the rockery in well drained soil where it receives a few hours of partial shade. I know that it would also thrive in full sun but may need to be protected from the intense winter winds in the mid-western states.

Worthy of a place in any garden, ‘Compressa’ stands out all season long with its tightly held bluish green foliage, narrow form and apparent desire to reach for the sky.

Conifer Lover

Thanks to Iseli Nursery for the photo links.