A favorable comment

Favorable comments about the garden are always appreciated, and especially helpful when acquaintances of my wife counter her criticisms. Yes, I understand that there are parts of the garden that don’t function ideally, and guess what, mostly I don’t care. If something flops over a path, walk around it. Or, on it. I didn’t exactly plan it that way, but once it happens, that’s the way I like it.

A recent visitor remarked on the pendulous branched European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus ‘Pendula’, below), with branching that is more horizontal than pendulous, and rather unremarkable in leaf when the unusual branching structure is hidden. Prior to these favorable comments, there was only disparagement from my wife regarding the hornbeam’s low hanging branches that impede the path to the lower garden, which is much more distressing to her than it is to me. I’m a foot taller than her, but a bit of annual pruning elevates branching to allow passage, with only a slight lean.

Catkins of the weeping hornbeam are ornamental, and I particularly appreciate trees that branch with a low hanging canopy to walk under. Unfortunately, not all members of this household share this appreciation.

I, of course, was highly encouraged by the visitor’s remarks, which gave me a favorable impression of my wife’s childhood friend, who I hardly know. There is, I know now, one other person impressed by this tree, a particular favorite of mine. Not that I require encouragement, but it is nice to know that someone else appreciates uniqueness, and the heck with the consequences. While it’s not certain that the friend took the time to consider the issue of the low hanging branches, I’ll take encouragement when I can get it.

The flowers of Carolina silverbell are accurately described by the common name. Branching of this silverbell is open due to a bit too much shade, but it is an extraordinary tree.
Cones of Acrocona spruce grow from branch tips, and these are particularly colorful in early spring.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. James says:

    Similar issue over here in Northern Virginia. Your firm planted a very nice Japanese Maple at the corner of our flagstone front sidewalk, and the paved driveway. I’ve tried to allow it to branch out naturally, but now several branches actually smack our car in the windshield as we drive into the garage. I’m afraid my pruning skills are lacking, but blocking the garage entrance simply has to be dealt with. The overhang of the sidewalk is of little concern. Like you, my approach has been “Then just duck.”

    1. Dave says:

      I’m a foot taller, and a hundred pounds heavier, so as I figure it, in this household slightly less than half the occupants have a complaint. The smaller half is, however, much more vocal, so occasionally action must be taken.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Professionally, I have grown rhododendrons and azaleas, the most spectacular flowers that can be grown in our region. However, in my own garden, I like to grow North American junipers and yuccas because I find them to be fascinating. Although I grew many cultivars of Japanese maples along with the rhododendrons and azaleas, I dislike them because they are boring and too common for our climate that is so unsuitable for them. If a fir tree gets too close to the roadway, I go around it on my way to come back with a chainsaw. I don’t care. I am a horticulturist, and I have nothing to prove. I enjoy my garden. Others should too, with or without encouragement.

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