Notes from the Nursery - Summer 2022
“The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.” This is a line from the song Time Marches On by Bobby Braddock. Any way you look at it, no matter what part of life you apply it to, it holds true.
You can see change everywhere you look at Yew Dell.
The man that built the castle has gone on but now small children fancy about its magic and brides spend those precious moments in it before getting married. After walking out of the castle, the bride then makes her way to the event lawn for the ceremony.
Today’s event lawn, surrounded by flamboyant gardens, was a utilitarian lath house decades ago. Theodore Klein used this flat top structure, made from World War II surplus material, to shade and protect his newly propagated plants before they were later moved to the field to grow on. In the nursery today at Yew Dell, you can find structures with a similar purpose. We simply call them shade houses or hoop houses, covered in a woven, tarp-like cloth that blocks out a desired amount of sunlight. Just a new twist on an old theme.
Another thing that has changed at Yew Dell’s nursery is the type of plant material produced. Instead of acres and acres of woody plant material like yews, hollies, and spruce originally grown in the Yew Dell nursery, we now focus on herbaceous perennial plants with a keen eye for those that love the shade. But as with Klein’s nursery, today we are on the constant lookout for the next great plant for gardeners, nursery owners and designers.
Later this year we will see a huge change in the nursery that will take us back to something that Theodore did in his time here. A Klein-era pond that served the family’s livestock herds, is being reconstructed to serve as an irrigation pond for our expanding plant nursery. Sometimes the old can be new again.
But the one thing at Yew Dell that has seemed to escape change over the decades is the passion for rare, unusual and better plants. As you walk the gardens you can find dozens of rare, unusual, and many times one-of-a-kind plants that Theodore planted. The same can be found as you stroll through our nursery today. Remember where you came from, know that changes are certain, and always keep cool plants around!