Landscapers are always looking for the next major trendy plant to showcase in gardens. In recent years, garden gurus have been focusing on exotic evergreens. One good example of this is Sky Pencil holly. Sky Pencil holly is a fast-growing shrub that can work in almost any terrain. Its bright green appearance and strikingly upward growth pattern make it a unique pick that’s exotic.
Originally, this chic shrub came from Japan. However, it’s clear that it’s become a darling of the modern landscaping scene too. The question is, how can you add it to your garden? Sky Pencil tends to be one of those plants that need to make a statement. A little strategy goes a long way with placement.
Table of Contents
- 14 Sky Pencil Holly Landscaping Ideas
- 12. Townhome Decor
14 Sky Pencil Holly Landscaping Ideas
If you are new to landscaping or just need a good idea to begin with, hang on tight. We’ve done digging to find some awesome and unique ways to add this plant to your home.
1. All In A Row
If there is one way to make sure that your Sky Pencil looks good, it’s as a liner for your garden. Here, we see it add an accent right against the white fence. The shrubs break up the boringness of the fence’s solid color, giving the garden a natural, elegant element. One thing you might notice about the holly bushes is that they’re noticeably darker than the rest of the plant life in the garden.
This is probably by design. The contrast of the dark shrubs makes the rest of the flowers and bushes look livelier and healthier. It’s not a bad idea!
2. Potted Pretty
Now, this is chic! As most landscapers will tell you, shrubs can be a bit difficult to add to a potted plant setup since they tend to grow outwards. That’s one of the major perks about Sky Pencils: they grow almost entirely upwards. This makes them a perfect pick for people who want to have a shrub that can work in a larger vase.
In this case, a landscaper placed a bunch of Sky Pencils in a series of statement vases. Then, they used the vases to line the walkway up to a home. To add yet another layer of luxury, the crew also surrounded the vases with tumbled stones. Ritzy? Yep, and exotic too. We love it! To get the full “oomph” of this look, make sure to pick a luxury vase, and add smaller dark green plants around each shrub.
3. Homefront Additions
It’s worth noting that a lot of people use Sky Pencil holly to help line their home’s walls or their fences. It definitely works for that purpose, but we wanted to point out that you don’t need a lot of these shrubs to make a serious statement. This landscaping company decided to go for two shrubs in a corner.
Though the number of holly bushes might be small, it still works to break up the ambiance and help add movement to your garden. With that said, we’re willing to bet that the spacing definitely helps break up the momentum a bit.
4. The Great Wall
Most of the time, people tend to landscape with the concern of having a Sky Pencil line to break up the monotony of a wall, or to add a cool accent to a corner. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. People often forget that this type of holly can grow to be extremely tall. It’s not unusual to hear of Sky Pencils that tower over 10 feet in height.
This makes it a good choice for people who want to have privacy hedges but still want to go for something that is a little more exotic. This landscaper above turned the Sky Pencils into a veritable wall of greenery. Though Sky Pencil holly grows tall, it won’t grow 10 to 12 feet in height. This means that homeowners won’t have to worry about trimming a little off the top when they reach maturity.
5. An Authentic Backdrop
If you want to have a Japanese garden, then you definitely need to consider investing in a bunch of Sky Pencils. Unlike many other types of holly, Sky Pencils originate from Japan. As a result, you will probably see quite a few of them whenever you go to a legit tea garden. If you want to stay true to tradition, then you should consider using this holly as a plant for your tea garden.
To be fair, it does have an elegant yet understated beauty that is commonly found in most other tea gardens. The landscaper here added a row of Sky Pencils to this garden in a wall-style layout. It makes for a good backdrop for the Japanese statue and also acts as a protective barrier from the water on the other side.
6. A Centerpiece!
In many landscaping projects, Sky Pencils act as a privacy hedge wall or as a way to accent walls around the garden. This time around, landscapers decided to toss the old ways aside to come up with a new way to enjoy these versatile hedges. The landscaper here chose to use the holly shrubs as a centerpiece for a major floral layout.
The fact is, most people tend to underestimate how beautifully Sky Pencils can stand out in a crowd. Here, the tall shrubs are used as a centerpiece to a floral layout. This brings a certain unity to the look that would be hard to get otherwise. Besides, if you’re like me, having a shrub that stands out will keep you from accidentally stepping in your flowers.
7. Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign
As you can probably tell from the other gardening ideas that we’ve brought up, the direct upward trajectory of Sky Pencil holly makes it a great pick for people who want to emphasize certain parts of the garden. Here, we see a pair of holly bushes that are placed on either side of a major sign.
The holly works as a way to frame the sign without going for something too heavy-handed. Since it’s an evergreen, you won’t have to worry about changing it once the weather gets cold. As this landscaping company did, it’s best to use right in front of the sign to add extra emphasis. Every bit helps.
8. Time For Topiaries
Okay, so technically this is not a topiary per se. It’s actually a bush sculpture—much like the ones that were regularly seen in Edward Scissorhands. Though trimming the shrubs in unique patterns and shapes was mostly considered to be a thing of the 50s, this landscaper proved that it’s worth giving a second go. I mean, it’s elegant, no?
Since Sky Pencil holly has a very firm upward trajectory with dense branches, it’s a great choice for people who want to get bush sculptures at their home. Here, we see a luxury landscaper who decided to trim and sculpt two holly bushes next to the door of this home. It’s pretty chic, though a bit retro.
9. Small Garden, Small Bushes
While Sky Pencil bushes can grow up to eight feet tall, the truth is that careful pruning and upkeep can keep these plants relatively short. This super small garden didn’t have much room for plants or foliage, so the landscapers had to find ways to add some flowers and greenery while keeping things compact. This is a lot easier said than done!
Holly roots are relatively shallow compared to most other bushes, which means they tend to be good for city environments like this one presumably is. Since they’re petite plants, the Sky Pencils were able to fill out this super small garden without overwhelming the area. If you have an apartment terrace, this goes to show that Sky Pencil hollies are your new go-to plant.
10. Cactus Substitute
If you’re like me, you tend to like the Southwestern look a lot,especially when it comes to landscapes. Unfortunately, most of us do not live in an area that’s desert-like. In fact, if you’re like many people in New York, trying to grow a cactus outdoors will almost always result in a dead cactus. This is where Sky Pencils can play a good role in your garden.
Though they don’t have a strong, solid build of a cactus, they tend to have a similar height. They also tend to have a similar color and structure to something along the line of a barrel cactus. If you pair them with terra cotta brick or a brick-colored fence, you can get an ambiance that’s fairly Western without having to move to the West.
Of course, it’s not the perfect substitute, but it’s a start.
11. Line The Path
The tall, lean look of a well-manicured Sky Pencil is hard to ignore, which is why most people use them to line walls. But, why stop there? If you want to go for an elegant, European style of landscaping, you can take a page from what this landscaper did. Much like what you would find in royal gardens throughout Britain, this homeowner had a massive garden that has multiple pathways leading throughout the area.
The use of taller Sky Pencils added a regal look that’s hard to copy with any other plant. It almost looks like the ground grew out columns just to add some Grecian style to the place. While this might be more “extra” than most gardens out there, it’s still a relatively admirable look.
12. Townhome Decor
If you’re like a lot of people in cities, landscaping really isn’t a thing. This is because you might not have much land to scape. This means that the only landscaping that you can really do is figuring out ways to decorate the sidewalk outside your home. That’s totally okay, especially if you live in a big city like NYC.
The compactness of Sky Pencil holly works well here too. They can grow to their full size in larger urns and vases. Moreover, smaller plants can surround them without too much competition for nutrients. Since the plant vases have a lot more heft than typical potted plants, it’s also unlikely that you will have to deal with porch pirates grabbing them.
13. Obscured Door
Most people would consider Sky Pencils to be a privacy hedge, and this is a good thing for many landscaping concepts. In this case, we see a home with a small garden door that’s placed off near a corner of a pathway. Now, we don’t know what’s going on behind the door, but it’s clear that the homeowner wants some privacy.
In this case, landscapers wanted to use Sky Pencil holly bushes as a set of low-set privacy hedges. The reason that this worked to obscure the door is because the pathway swerves and turns a corner. Even so, it did the job well. You can see the door, but at the same time, a certain level of privacy is given to you. It’s a good balance.
14. A Sweet Contrast
A good rule of thumb for both landscaping and interior design is that you can always use contrasting colors to bring out the boldness of a design. This is true with plants, too. Green’s opposite on the color wheel is red. (Or a little purplish-red, if you wanna get more real.) So, if you want to add a pop of color that’s visually pleasing, you pair these two colors together.
The green of Sky Pencil holly contrasts very well with the fuschia of this plant above. Honestly, we’re not sure what plant this is. However, we’re willing to bet that you can get a similar look from Indian Paintbrush or Montgomery Astilbe. Regardless of the plant used, it’s clear that this setup worked really well with the garden around it. For a patio potted plant, it really looks amazing.