The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hedges Grow

 November  2000

November  2013

The yew hedge enclosing the Lower Garden was planted 13 years ago. I spent a couple years terracing the land wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load. That phase was not a pretty site; it looked more like a construction site than a garden. I spent most of my budget on loam so when it came time to plant the hedge, I used tiny bareroot whips of Hick's yew, Taxus × media 'Hicksii'. I remember reading in The Vita Sachville-West's Garden Book that small plants establish more quickly and caught up in height with larger plants in a few years. Since I couldn't afford large plants, I liked that idea a lot. The hedge was a bit of a joke with gardening friends for about 7 years and then miraculously, it became a wall which created a garden room. Visually and emotionally, it made the visitor feel like they would not tumble down the steep slope on which the garden has been built. What is planted in the garden beds continues to evolve but the structure or bones will hopefully survive for many years to come.


  1. Michael, I remember your story of the hedges. It's funny to finally see a photo showing how small the yews actually were. To me, you epitomize deliberation and patience.

  2. There certainly were small, James. I suppose that when funding is limited, planning and patience are very helpful.



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