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.
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.