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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Not My Favorite Plant

We've had a couple of blogger/gardeners post about My Favorite Plant, the December selection of the Garden Bloggers Book Club. I'll be publishing a round up of all the posts on December 29th.

Knowing that some have posted their reviews already leaves me just a wee bit concerned if I will have time to read the book, or will I have to resort to the "fall back plan" and post about my own favorite plant?

Then I think about what IS my favorite plant, and I can't decide.

So what have I done? I've come up with a whole genus of shrubs that I don't like... junipers (Juniperus) .

At lunch time through the week, I often walk by a row of junipers on my way to and from the nearby Starbucks . And I always think about how I don't like them as I pass by this display of junipers that stretches for half a block. When they were first planted, I checked the tags on them and they are Andorra Junipers . True to type, the foliage has turned a purplish color this fall, which isn't all that unattractive.

I do know that junipers come in all shapes and sizes from ground hugging to tall spires and everything in between. I know that many have a lighter, almost blue green foliage color not found in many other shrubs. I know some, like the Andorras, turn a nice purplish color in the winter.

But, I still don't like them.

I don't think they age gracefully. I know shrubs don't last forever, but it seems most junipers I've known have had to be removed at some point that I remember because they just got ugly and brown at the bottom or otherwise became an unsightly plant. If someone told me I was aging like a juniper, I'd be insulted!

And who doesn't end up with an itchy rash on their forearms after cutting out or trimming a juniper? I know I do.

So, I don't plant junipers in my own gardens and I don't recommend them to others. But someone does like them enough to have this whole website dedicated to them.

But enough of my negativity toward junipers. I need to turn my time and attention toward more positive activities like deciding what my favorite plant is so I will have something to post for the December Garden Blogger's Book Club by the end of the month.

3 comments:

Sigruns German Garden said...

Carol, we have a Juniper chinensis Pfitzeriana aurea in front of the house, it is more than 30 years old and Mr. Wonderful trimmed it each year. I do not like it realy, but it was there when we come in 7 years ago.
It is a good plant.

Sigrun

Earth Girl said...

Carol, I'm having the same problem as you. I'm a plant lover and at any given moment I have a different favorite plant. Perhaps I will have time to post about my fickleness.

Jennifer said...

Junipers do best when they have a LOT of room. There is a stunning example of how good they can look as a specimen plant near my house.

They are also much loved but the small songbirds, who both nest and take shelter in those thick prickly branches.

Anyone who is interested in providing backyard habitat should have some sort of evergreen, and junipers will reward you with visits from the dapper and charming cedar waxwings when the berries are in full fruit.

Having said that, I finally got fed up and removed all the sprawing junipers that were used as foundation plantings for this house. Got tired of trying to whack them back into bounds twice a year.

I miss the waxwings, tho. Everything's a tradeoff.