Goodbye to Yew, and Other Developments
Downsizing the Yew.
When I was a kid, my family sometimes took vacations at a cabins-on-a-lake-in-the-woods sort of resort. I remember that at the gift shop they sold a t-shirt that said “I Pine Fir Yew and Balsam, Too”. Anybody else remember a t-shirt like that?
Anyhow, I decided to prune the big Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata) in the back garden last weekend for two reasons. First, it was climbing up into the power/telephone wires that are strung along the alley. And second, I noticed that the leader of the new and nearby ‘Golden Raindrops’ crabapple was leaning away from the Yew, which probably meant it was getting too much shade from its neighbor.
So I got my loppers and my nifty little Corona folding saw (swag from the Portland Garden Bloggers Conference) and went to work.
Now, I should say that we don’t really like this Yew, and have been tempted to get rid of it. It’s dark and hulking and boring – it just stands there, doesn’t fruit or flower or change color or anything. Although, it’s a good screen for a section of the alley. Plus it’s the only evergreen we have, and the birds like to hang out in it.
My intent was not to give the Yew a flat top haircut. Rather, I wanted to find the stems that were either giving the most shade to ‘Golden Raindrops’ or messing with the wires.
I really love pruning, it’s very satisfying. Once I got going, I was sorely tempted to keep at it until there were only a couple of stumps left. But I restrained myself, and finished after about 1/3 of the Yew was removed.
When she returned home, I asked Judy how she thought my pruning job looked and she answered, “Well, it doesn’t look any worse than it did before.”
Container Tulips Coming on Strong
There are now 65 tulips (out of 120 planted) coming up in 10 of the 12 containers – only two have yet to show any signs of life. Hope to see the remainder of the tulips before long. Plus all five of the ‘City of Haarlem’ Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) have shown themselves.
Crocuses are Blooming
Though it is annoying that they won’t all bloom at the same time. Here are some Crocus tommasinianus.
More on tulips and crocuses in future blogs!