Stonehenge Dark Druid™ are Stonehenge Skinny™ are two new Taxus varieties for 2020.

Why Taxus? Didn’t we do that already? Like, a lot? Well, there’s a reason why yew is popular: it’s one of the best evergreens for shade – including deep shade. It has a lovely, rich color that is maintained all through winter, and it is very tolerant of pruning for people who are compelled to have meatballs as foundation plantings.

But Stonehenge Dark Druid™ is a tidy, well-branched plant that doesn’t need shearing to stay attractive. It grows 2-3′ tall and about 3′ wide – a nice round little evergreen for landscapes. This is definitely not the giant shrub you pulled out of your grandma’s front yard.

Meatballs not your thing? That’s OK.

We’ve got another Stonehenge™ yew that’s the opposite of a meatball. I don’t know what that would be in the kitchen (a carrot?), but in the landscape, it’s a tall, narrow, columnar yew: Stonehenge Skinny™.

This plant grows 6-8′ tall and just 8-10″ wide. It’s perfect for a narrow, shady space. Maybe you’re like my husband and grill year-round: he doesn’t need the neighbors watching him in December any more than he wants an audience in June. I’d better get the man some of these to put around the deck.

Both plants are hardy to USDA Zone 5 and will grow in sun or shade.

The druids were serious about the solstice.

There’s more than one, of course. But it’s the winter solstice that’s almost upon us, and these dark days inspire sympathy for pre-electric cultures. When we get the winter blues, we can flip a light switch; they had to build a big fire.

No wonder they revered evergreens like yew. When you think about it, it’s pretty wonderful to have plants that keep their foliage through winter. It’s easy to see how folks might think there was some magic involved when the rest of the landscape is so clearly out of action.

We still need those evergreens even though Christmas lights give us something sparkly to admire in the winter landscape. Our feathered friends appreciate the shelter, too.

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