Columnar conifer plants (Fastigiate)
Columnar conifers are quite simply those with a narrow, upright, column-shaped growth habit, normally referring to their natural shape, although we include some topiary plants that have been trained into a columnar form here too. Gardeners refer to these plants as being “fastigiate”, some having fastigiata in their Latin name with erect branches that are almost parallel to the central trunk. Column shapes can be highly effective to add height to your outdoor spaces and punctuate different parts of the garden. They may also be grown close together where they will knit together to form a dense hedge or privacy screen. Their small lateral footprint also makes them useful and efficient for smaller gardens where floor space is more limited. Column-shaped conifers can be useful for empty, dull corners of the garden where it’s difficult to squeeze anything else in. Irish yew is one popular choice, which has now found wider favour since originally being grown mainly in churchyards. Alternatively, a pair of Juniper Blue Arrow or Juniper Skyrocket look stunning to frame an entrance or doorway, or used in rows in the border to bring a Mediterranean character to garden design.