With summer winding down, we’ve been finishing up some yard work lately – such as pruning our boxwood and yew shrubs. As new homeowners, we’re still trying to figure out a regular landscaping maintenance schedule, but it’s been challenging to keep up with all the plants, bushes and trees around our house. So, as you can see in the photos from our “before” exterior house tour, the yew and boxwood bushes have been getting a little overgrown.
The yew shrubs in the front of our house are enormous. Eventually we’d like to take these out entirely and plant some smaller bushes and/or flowers that don’t obscure the house so much. (Update: check out our yew renovation project!) But for the time being, they were looking pretty wild and needed some serious trimming. John took on this task, and he had to get a little creative to reach some areas. (He used power-lever hedge-trimming shears similar to these, which are great for cutting through bush branches.)
While the yews are still gigantic, they do look better with their new haircut.
The boxwoods are much smaller, and so were easier to trim up. We’ve got several scattered around the backyard along the pathway that runs the length of our property. They were pruned into rounded shapes when we bought the house, but had developed a lot of random shoots that made them look like pufferfish.
We kept that general design and just did some clean-up pruning with our hedge shears. I actually really like the small leaves and dense configuration of the boxwood shrubs (maybe because the round shape ties in aesthetically with our nearby Annabelle hydrangea?), and the fact that it’s a slow-growing plant. They might be a good replacement for the monster yew shrubs in the front yard one day – less threatening and more welcoming.
With all the shrubbery trimming, plus some other odds and ends we pruned in the garden… we had a lot of yard waste ready to be picked up on trash day!
What garden chores are you working on as summer comes to a close?
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