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taxus bacata

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the yew, taxaceae is of a genus of 5-10 species and one of those that reminds me firmly and almost immediately of the ‘ye olde’ type style gardens. In fact I’ve yet to meet one without. Most commonly famed for its use in hedging or topiary, they are evergreen, berry producing plants that are listed as listed [all parts] as ‘toxic’ [if ingested]. For that reason, they can often take a back seat when it comes to garden design.

The reality is they are amazing. They make great back drop,are really hardy, require very little maintenance and look super all year round. They can [says the reference books] grow to 70′ tall…. but I wouldn’t let that put you off… it won’t be in my life time 😉

laburnum

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all over Dublin at this moment in time, the Laburnum is in full flower draping over the park rails of Dublin City Centre. The yellow long draping clusters that you see are those of the often called ‘golden rain’ tree – the laburnum.

Of the leguminosae [the legume or the pea family]/ papilionaceae family. The funny thing is these deciduous trees are classed as poisionous [if ingested] and because of this they generally get left out of the loop.

To put into context the first [that I remember] seeing was [one might say] its half sister the +laburnocytissus adamii, of which I’ve only ever planted maybe 5; of the Laburnum I’ve only ever planted maybe about 10. I’ve found it hard to purchase them in a mature state… and maybe for its poisonous listing I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in a design specification. But around Dublin City… you simply can’t miss them.

Say what you like, think what you may… no matter what the tree maybe it is pure beauty and one of *my* all time favourites. I even have one planted in my front garden….

The most common listed varieties in Ireland seem to be the Laburnum x waterii [L. alpinum x L. anagyroides]  which can grow up to 8m high… but its flowers [racemes] are 20″ long and the Laburnum vossii whose racemes are 24″ long.

Go get one. Be inspired. And enjoy.

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