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Rocky Mountain Juniper

When it came time to remove a dilapidated fence in the yard I knew we would need something to replace the visual barrier. Pyramid cedars and boxwood were an easy first thought but I wanted something that was more unique, native to Canada and something I could use in floral designs. 

During my search I came across the Rocky Mountain Juniper. I was familiar with this tree from seeing it wild in the interior of British Columbia. This tree has foliage that creates a fragrant smell when rubbed between ones fingers and the tree produces the tiny berries where the distinctive taste of gin comes from. This tree is draught tolerant with sage green foliage and tiny muted blue berries which are actually female cones. Some species are used in European cuisine to, "impart a sharp, clear flavour" especially with wild birds and game meat.  Essential oils expressed from the berries are used in aromatherapy and some first nations groups used the seeds inside of berries to create jewelry.

Knowing that this was that tree for me I began my search for the plant and was lucky enough to find a grower just down the road from the flower studio. The grower had the cultivar 'Skyrocket' propagate because of it's nature to grow in a linear, uniform fashion. It will take a few years to fill out and it will be cut back to maintain a height of about 4 feet but eventually it should make a dense hedge. These trees are planted in full sun with good drainage. I'll keep you posted on these wonderful little trees as they grow. 



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