The gardens at Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!

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1 November 2018

Yew or Me?

Before trimming.
After trimming.

Once upon a time, there was a Yew tree. It stood on a corner very close to the greenhouse and behind the wooden throne. So close to the throne in fact, I had never been able to creosote the back of the panels touching the Yew. It was far too wide and took up lots of room. Basically, it had ideas above its station in life! Over the years we persevered with it, trimmed it into lots of different shapes but, whatever we did, it was just too wide at shoulder height  and a pain when brushing past with a full wheelbarrow on such a tight corner.


On Saturday Chris gave it its usual trim and then we just stood back and looked at it, looked at it again and then REALLY looked at it!  A trim just wasn't cutting it!! It was just to big and too much of a nuisance.  Out came the chainsaw. We were both thinking the same thing. Radical! Chris wondered if the Under Gardener should be consulted but, Head Gardener was pretty sure he wouldn't even notice.
After brashing.

Chief Gardener set to work wielding his chainsaw and removed all the side growth leaving just a bare trunk. In the trade, it's called brashing! The intention is to give it a new lease of life, as a Yew bollard (Chris's name!)  By which he meant, it will be allowed to grow in a much narrower and  more columnar habit with a much smaller diameter. The glory of Yew is that it will always green up.  No way could we have done this to a conifer!

True to form and, as clearing up was well under way, our Under Gardener came out to see what we were up to and then asked, 'What's missing?'

The following day was cold but sunny so, out came the creosote!

A very smart throne!
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