Sky Pencil Holly Has Architectural Appearance

By Cindi Sullivan

(LOUISVILLE, May 24th, 2004, 6 p.m.) -- Looking for another way to spruce up your garden? WAVE 3 Garden Talk expert Cindi Sullivan has details on how to add an architectural element to your garden.

When you think of architectural elements, you probably think about buildings or some other manmade structure. But there are some plants that can add an architectural element to your garden. Take for instance the Sky Pencil Holly.

A member of the family of plants called Ilex Crenata -- or Japanese Holly -- 'Sky Pencil' is what we refer to as a cultivated variety, or cultivar for short. Its growth habit gives it the architectural appearance of a pillar or column.

It is very slender, densely branched shrubs -- one of my reference books describes it as "telephone pole oriented." The leaves are very nice, dark shiny green; it will produce berries if there is a male holly plant nearby to pollinate it. The plants will eventually reach 6 to 8 feet in height, but less than a foot wide.

In general, Japanese hollies prefer light, well drained soil that is slightly acidic; they can adapt to either sun or shade conditions.

Sky pencils can be planted in the ground as a single specimen plant, used as a hedge or screening plant, or used in containers underplanted with annuals for a dramatic formal appearance.

Online Reporter: Cindi Sullivan

Online Producer: Michael Dever