Plant of the Week: STONEHENGE SKINNY® Yew

It’s Taxus Day!

Yes, April 15 would normally be tax day, and we could make horticultural puns. However, the tax filing deadline for individuals has been pushed back to May 17. Never mind – we can still make bad jokes.

As with taxes, one needs to plan ahead for Taxus, too. It’s a slow-growing plant, so you can’t decide this spring that you want a full-grown hedgerow by next year. Like the best tax planning, you need to think long-term.

As you may have heard, supplies are tighter than ever this year, so it’s even more important to plan ahead. How far ahead? If there is a specific project that you’d like shrubs for in 2021, let me know now so I can get them in our inventory, grown out, and set aside for you next spring. As for this spring, just like plant supply will be at your local nursery, my plant samples are mostly already spoken for.

Don’t worry about asking for samples for projects either, we are always happy to send shrubs to places where they might get some good press, and it doesn’t tax us too much. (See what I did there?) Ah, yes…let’s talk Taxus.

Stonehenge Skinny® is narrow – just 8-10″ wide and 6-8′ tall. It’s also faster growing than conventional Taxus varieties. If you would like something more rounded, check out Stonehenge Dark Druid®. All of the Stonehenge® Taxus varieties have especially nice winter color and maintain their habits without pruning.

I love Taxus because it’s a beautiful shade of green with light green new growth; it can be sited in full sun, to full shade and it’s nice and cold hardy, down to USDA zone 4. Now that’s something you can ac-count on! (Did I go too far?)

Planning ahead

Plants in nursery pots lined up against a fence.
New house with plants that need their forever homes.

We just put our house up for sale. Yesterday. So far, we’ve had 14 scheduled showings. This is the same house we put on the market (with some improvements since then) two years ago, and zilch…zero. No offers.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me…today is my birthday, and I’d sure love an offer (or three) as a present. I don’t have to tell you things have changed drastically in the past two years, but there’s still that seed of doubt until it actually happens.

Just like with the sudden boom in gardening, house sales have skyrocketed. Interest rates are crazy low, and, like plants, so is inventory. If I’d had a crystal ball, I’d have taken more of the new plants I got last year and just popped them in my holding bed – but I crammed all but 3 or 4 in the garden. But I still managed to save a few for the new place.

So we’re starting over in more ways than one, new house that we’ll be sharing with my mom and new gardens…since the previous homeowner only seemed to like sedum and daylilies. I have to do some garden planning and get these guys in the ground soon. It’s a good way to work off those winter COVID lock-in pounds, though. Oh, that and moving – but I’ll take the former over the latter any day. – Natalie


  1. Do you know where in Chicago I might find the Stonehenge Skinny Yew in spring 2022? I’ve been looking for an evergreen to plant on the narrow parkway in front of our building that can handle dry shade. This might work! And the shape is perfect! Thanks and happy holidays!!

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