Our columnist Kevin Lee Jacobs writes about how he transformed his backyard from a parking lot to a spectacular rose garden, using a mix of cuttings, new plants, and of course, blood, sweat, and tears.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to dig in soil which has been covered, for at least 20 years, with a thick layer of asphalt. “Compacted” doesn’t begin to describe it. I rented a gas-powered post hole digger to make openings for the edging plants—190 yews and 320 boxwoods.
I purchased the upright yews first. To reduce their cost, I forfeited the warranty the garden center normally offers. Keep this in mind if you ever need to buy vast quantities of a single shrub as it will often entitle you to a 10% discount.
Yews are extremely slow-growing evergreens, and thus even tiny, young plants (which I bought) can be very expensive.