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Closeup photo of a juniper branch showing blue-green needles and blue juniper berries
My mother had a juniper plant in her garden. Other conifers, too. I thought they were awful, just awful. Dull, squat and flat, the juniper just sat there year after year, seemingly unchanging. No colorful flowers. Too small and spikey for a kid to play in. Never thought I'd say what I'm about to say: now I'm a believer! In the power of juniper, that is.

Why the change of heart? Simple: I got some hands-on experience with my own gardens. Now I know how time and labor intensive gardens are. Tough-as-nails, no-maintenance plants like juniper are now beautiful in my eyes. I particularly like juniper when it's used as a groundcover, replacing high-maintenance areas of lawn.

Why you'll love juniper

Not into juniper? I believe I can convert you. Here are a few reasons you should give junipers a try...


My Craigslist juniper(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Low-maintenance = beautifulJuniper berries...Dig cautiouslyLeverage timeSome roots may be sacrificed
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  • Bill Volk

    Diane -- a very thorough and comprehensive article. I always have to wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when handling junipers, as I get a "juniper rash"; have you ever found this to be a problem?
    Bill

    Reply
  • Diane Rixon

    Nope, but b/c I tend to get allergic reactions every now and again I play it safe and don't even step out into the garden without my gloves on. But the plants definitely touched my arms a lot and no problems there. Oh, one more thing: sometimes it takes repeated exposure to spark a reaction, so perhaps I should experiment? Roll around in it each morning and see what happens? :))


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