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Modern life and design in our historical American Foursquare home

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Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs

By on September 5, 2013


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.

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

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.)

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

While the yews are still gigantic, they do look better with their new haircut.

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

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.

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

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.

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

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!

Pruning boxwood and yew shrubs | Rather Square

What garden chores are you working on as summer comes to a close?

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September 5, 2013

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