What I Did About the Japanese Yew
You may recall a couple of posts during the spring where I talked about how I was removing a large Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata) from the southwest corner of the Back Garden, right next to the gate that opens up to the alley.
We did implement the decision to replace the Yew with 2 Red Osier Dogwoods (Cornus sericea). I found a couple of good specimens at a local garden center, and they were planted by early May.
The wet, cool weather we’ve had was probably fortuitous in terms of helping the Dogwoods to make themselves at home. They were about 5′ tall at planting, and have put on another foot or so. They still need to fill out and in, though, as it’s possible to see through them to the various bins (trash, recycling, landscape) in the alley.
As for what remains of the Yew limbs, let me say this: don’t do what I did. Because what I did was make an impulse purchase before doing any research. Specifically, I bought a Kentucky Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens ‘Amathyst Falls’), a cultivar of a species native to the upper south and lower midwest, though not to the Chicago area.
Kentucky Wisteria is smaller and less rampant than its Chinese counterpart. It’s a twining vine and so to be hospitable I wrapped chicken wire around the thick Yew stems. It can grow more than 20′ long, so I’ll try to trail the stems along the top of our alley fence, if it ever comes to that.
Some sources say American Wisteria prefers acid soil (ours is alkaline) others claim that it is adaptable on this point. It can take several years before it starts to bloom. So I really don’t know how this is going to work out. It’s all in the hands of the gardening gods. This may not turn out to be the smartest gardening decision I’ve ever made.
Why did I embark on what may be a horticultural fools errand? I guess because Wisteria flowers are so beautiful.
Can you say that you’ve never made an impulse plant purchase that made less than total sense? Huh? Can you?