Sky Pencil Holly Front Entry DIY Makeover

img 1547 193x300 Sky Pencil Holly Front Entry DIY Makeover

For a quick, no-fuss evergreen entrance way makeover skip the overly familiar Yew bushes, and find Sky Pencil Hollies at your nearby nursery or big box store. 

Sky Pencil Hollies are terrific small trees that grow to a maximum height of 10 feet, and spread only 2-3 feet in a tidy upright form that never needs pruning.  These Japanese natives have soft leaves, and when planted in groups form a year-round background for  your flowers and shrubs. These make a perfect addition to gardens, or architecture, providing a softening effect on the appearance of sharp angles.

The Holly pictured to the right is already four feet tall, and was used with two other Sky Pencils to soften and fill in some room up against the front wall of a modern craftsman home.  I chose to use this plant in a garden area that already featured a 20 foot mature American Holly tree, and rows of variegated Hosta, and Photinia.  After Planting the Pencils, and trimming up the Large Holly and bushes a bit, the garden is ready for it’s close up. For added easy care color, I recommend planting large amounts of yellow Tulip and Daffodil bulbs, to give the entrance way seemingly endless blooms for the first few weeks of spring.  Summer annuals can be planted for seasonal color, or the bed can remain a cool green oasis by the front door for the summer months.

Before                                                                     After

img 1466 300x227 Sky Pencil Holly Front Entry DIY Makeoverimg 1546 300x250 Sky Pencil Holly Front Entry DIY Makeover








Hint:  It’s important when planting larger shrubs and trees to leave room for the plants to mature without crowding each other. Make sure you know just how large and wide your plants will grow when planting, and space your shrubs out accordingly from the get-go to eliminate the need to shuffle your plants around in future years.

About Amy


  1. Greg Rissinger says:

    I am looking at purchesing 3 skypencil hollys. My only question is that i seen they get 10′ tall and i would like to keep them like 5′ tall, if i would trim them what would be the best time of the year to do so and if i would trim them will they get wider

  2. Mimi R says:

    That is just about the dumbest use of a sky pencil holly that I’ve ever seen. You seriously just put something that will be tall and thin to “fill out” UNDER A WINDOW?


  3. Amy says:


    Not all sky pencils grow to be 10 feet tall, and they are not rapid growers either. Choose a variety you like and then trim them in the fall to keep them around the height you like. They will widen a little with trimming, but they will never be truly hedge-like unless you plant them very closely, and that doesn’t always look the best. Best of luck with whatever you choose!


    Sky pencils placed right up against the house aren’t the look that everyone is attracted to, but in this case it was exactly what the homeowner requested for a variety of reasons. Gardening is personal, and not everyone likes what someone else does, but hey, that’s why we enjoy it right? We’re all on our own unique journey with our gardens, so let’s keep it positive!

  4. These are great for a variety of uses. They even look great in pots!

Speak Your Mind