Reshaping the iconic yews
The 30 yews along Montacute House’s West Drive were pruned back hard in the spring, restoring them to their original form.
The job involved unwinding the wires that bind the branches together and cutting back hard. The result looked a bit scary at first, but had to be done to stop the Irish yews splitting and breaking.
Last year the garden team tackled the yews on Cedar Lawn, reducing the height and width significantly. You'll see green shoots are now sprouting on the bare branches.
This year’s work restores the view along the iconic West Drive, which was begun at the end of the 18th century and changed the entrance of the house from the east to the west side.
" ‘I began Forming a New Road to the West Front…thro Boys Court Orchard by Filling Up millponds Levelling Hedges etc’ "
Chris Gaskin, Head Gardener, says: ‘These sentinel yews were planted in the 19th century, part of a tiered arrangement of three “avenues”. But over time the growth of the trees behind the yews has pushed them out of shape.’
The work is part of ongoing conservation in the gardens at Montacute House.