When I saw two English Yews (Taxus baccata) in the garden center, I snapped them up. And because they had a Spreading Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis'), I bought it, too. Yes, I was skeptical. I didn't recall seeing any other yews around here. But I loved that classic look, and its soft, fine, feathery foliage. Being an evergreen appealed to me. Plus - there they were - just waiting to be purchased. I gave them a big hug hello.
I should have saved my money.
The two English Yews didn't last long. Even though they are supposed to be hardy in zones 5b to 8b, they both died in our Texas summer heat. I wish more plants had labels with their heat zone indication. Zone 8 Pacific Northwest is a lot different than Zone 8, Texas.
Densiformis, on the other hand, lasted a little while longer - almost three years. Which is funny, because it is only supposed to be hardy in zones 4 to 7, and I'm in zone 8. I really thought it was going to make it. I really thought I could have a taxus in Texas.
But last year's high heat and drought finally killed it, too. I just dug it up while doing the spring cleaning. And stuck another plant in its place. A plant that is common around here.
Occasionally, I like to try an unusual plant in my garden. But far too often, I find out why that plant is not common here - they don't grow well here! Sometimes, and maybe especially in gardens, common is good. And maybe yews will grow in East Texas. But not in my garden. Or, at least, not for this gardener.
So, now if I see any more yews for sale, I will say hello. Briefly. Then I will say goodbye, and not take any more home with me. Lesson learned. Goodbye to yew.