I took a monster yew hedge out, in another life, and lived to regret it. In some ways it was the right decision, because it was a monster yew in the wrong place, but when the hedge went, so did the cheerful bird song in the mornings. And the replacement plants never quite did well, never quite looked right either. I learned that some things take decades to grow and can't simply be replaced overnight. And so ever since, I've said to myself, that if I had another house, I wouldn't make drastic changes the first year. And so, for the most part, I haven't.
We've owned Pugsley now for almost two years exactly. I think as I write this, on Sunday, the day after tomorrow, the 16th, will be two years. And today, we cut back one of the monster yews. It's an amazingly beautiful yew, matched only in amazingness and sheer prodigalness by another hedge at right angles. Together they define the back of the yard, as you can see in the three photos below, panning from right to left.