The mature, private east and south-facing gardens were a significant factor in the decision to buy this house. It was this time of year- September- when we first viewed and fell in love with it. When I look back at the estate agent’s photographs, it’s clear to see how much the garden has grown and also, how much we’ve done already. Ian and I have spent hour after hour pruning, trimming, weeding and raking. I’ve lost count of the number of trips to the tip we’ve made, our trusty transit filled with huge sacks of garden waste. And yet, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Our intention is to have the garden cleared and organised by the end of 2023 so that we can, ahem, see the wood for the trees so we can begin to design then create the garden of our dreams. We want a greenhouse, a veg and herb garden and a cut-flower bed as well as a seating and entertaining area.
Taking Cuttings from a Yew Tree
I mentioned in my blog about our visit to David Austin Roses that we want to plant a lot of roses. I also briefly mentioned that the visit inspired us to plant a yew hedge. The gardens at David Austin have low yew hedges planted along many of the borders. Ian suggested taking cuttings from a large yew tree in our garden so we could grow our own. The tree was dangerously close to the house and conservatory and we were concerned that it might damage the original single-glazed Victorian windows in our sitting room. It blocked out a lot of light downstairs and up too, so we’d already made the decision to cut it down.
The sitting room is so much brighter and lighter. We now look out and see the garden rather than the huge, imposing yew. We’re looking forward to creating a lovely, south-facing seating area which we’ll also see from the sitting room. Another little project to look forward to.
The yew tree clearly liked the conditions here, so we took more than 250 cuttings in the hope that it will live on as a hedge.
We’ve kept the bigger branches to use as structural support for other things in the garden too, so making use of as much of the felled tree as we can.
How to Propogate Yew
- Take cuttings from new growth. This will have green, (not yet woody), flexible stems.
- Strip the lower leaves off. Use a knife or scissor blade to scratch the bottom few centimetres of the stem. This slight damage encourages it to grow to repair itself.
- The soil needs to be free draining so I made a mix of compost, Perlite and grit. New roots are likely to rot if they sit in wet soil so good drainage is vital.
- Place the cuttings into pots and protect in a cold frame over winter.
- Wait patiently to see if the cuttings take root.
This RHS guide has more advice and instructions.
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