A Haven for Vee

Monday, June 21, 2010


Would you believe that I've gone and done it yet again? Please don't groan. I know that I am hopeless. < insert wry grin >

Sharon Lovejoy recently posted a perfectly charming piece called Sanctuaries of Spirit. She and her husband Jeff are visiting gardens as they head east promoting her new book and speaking at this place and that. They are wending their way to their summer home in this corner.

Anyway, Sharon showed a garden scene painted of a wonderful home as it appeared many years ago and the current scene of the same spot. That's where I opened mouth and inserted foot by saying that one of my pet peeves is... You can read it all there in comments, if you choose. (This may not be the time to say that I sent you.) Sharon said that I had sparked some lively discussion. Yup, I am all about sparking lively discussions. :D

If you've ever seen my backyard, you can see that I do love trees; I do love shrubs; I do love green plants. (See previous post) What I don't love is unkempt unless it is the forest and even then, I'm a proponent of the German way...keep it tidy. The trees behind my home truly are the view, but there are far too many of them. They block the light, encourage molds, damage my roof, prevent my other plants and flowers from growing and block the breezes not to mention the sunset. That I must turn on a light to read by in the middle of a sunny summer day is annoying, too. It's like a tomb in here!

We own an Eastern Spruce, seven or more forsythia bushes and two lilacs plus assorted azaleas. That's it, but it looks like so much more, right?

I live in a state that is big on forest management, which is why we have more forest today in 2010 than we had 100 years ago and earlier. Further, we have many lumbermen, my own brother-in-law included, who make their living selling firewood. We burn wood here in the winter because so many of us can't afford oil. There's plenty of wood to burn. Folks can sell one tree or an acre or a hundred acres and more...happens every day.

So I do not understand why homeowners who could see the lake, the mountains or the ocean choose instead to see only the trees. I confess again...I just don't get it.

Some may believe that I am being selfish to select a view over a tree or several trees. So be it. I do and will every chance I get. It's all about balance for me. I think it's all about gardening, too. What gardener keeps a plant (and a tree is a plant) that is no longer working there? Not one that I know. We prioritize. We judiciously select plants for this reason or that.

And what if we allow items to collect in our homes the way we allow trees and shrubs to grow up all around us never checking the onslaught? It may be a poor analogy, but it's working for me. Being as intentional with our flowers, trees, and shrubs is as important as being intentional with the items one has in the home or garage or wherever.

In the end, those of us who think looking at trees is the better view and those of us who think that we can't see the forest for the trees will strike some balance I am certain.

What are your thoughts? Go ahead, I can take it. :D (Maybe this will become my new catch phrase.)

A very happy summer to you!


  1. Vee, I am with you on this one. The judicious removing of trees is natural and promotes the growth of the surrounding flora. If I removed a tree to heighten my view I believe that it is ok to do so. I would hope I would use the wood from the tree to heat my home, build a table or some other worthy cause.

  2. I have the same problem you have with a south window and loads of trees out that window. It's great in the winter, but in the summer, it's a cave, which is why my living room is painted bright yellow. On the other hand, it gets awfully hot around here, and I appreciate the shade provided by those sun-blocking trees, even if it means I have to live with shade plants instead of some of the beautiful flowers I wish I could plant. It's definitely a trade-off.

    But then I wouldn't have a pretty view if the trees were gone. I'd likely have an ugly building of some sort to look at because the trees fill an empty lot that has been on the market for years.


  3. I love big beautiful trees and appreciate the cool shade...but oh, how I love a good view! Can I have my cake and eat it, too? heeheehee!

  4. Agreed!!!! I too, love trees, but not so many that they crowd me in.

    I have told how I love the view from my patio doors, all year long. Loved it, for years and years and years, that is.

    Present neighbor has a boy friend [is that the proper phrase for now?], who keeps planting trees [which are not-in-great-shape, to begin with] in her back yard. Which my backyard and patio doors overlook.

    The front yard of her house is neat. In back, they seem to be trying to create a private forest. Which is not so far from the facts, but that's a whole other story.

    These scraggly trees keep growing and growing, right along the line/fence, between our property and hers. In not long, my view will no longer be of lovely trees in the some-what distance. It will be of his "forest," right smack dab on other side of our fence. Damn!!!!

    So I agree!!!

    And might as well just copy this comment, or nearly all of it.... And plunk it down, over in her comments. -Heh,heh,heh-

    Hugs Hon!

  5. Oh Vee. .I love a view too. What I never get is why someone would not remove unsightly trees and shrubs that have outlived their life expectancy and gone on to look as though they live in their winter season .. .all year long.
    Give me a view ..and replant when necessary. Off to see what the fuss is about.

  6. After living in Colorado for 6 years and now in WA...I miss the New England trees and all the shelter and shade they provide. Our house is in a "new" area that's about 6 years old and there are very young trees in the neighborhood...each year as they get taller I get more and more excited for their potential.

    My Mom had a huge red maple that they recently cut down a few years back...it got too large I guess....but I secretly mourned the loss. Now, we retreat into the local arboretum at the lake if we want to feel like we are in the forest. :)

  7. There's a place for trees and a place for views. We need both. I always like to say, all things in moderation. :-)

  8. The wonderful thing about trees is that you can manage them. You can plant more, cut them down, thin them out or whatever needs doing. When Georgia moved in next door she had about ten of the thirty or so trees in her back and side yards cut down. The others seem to be very happy with the additional room to grow and spread out. There is still plenty of shade...but Georgia who NEEDS the sun to live can get that too.

    Becky K.

  9. I am also in complete agreement, Vee. My life has been blighted by too tall trees (completely out of place in an urban area) or neighbours cutting down trees or leylandii (which are the scourge of the neighbourhood and rise to epic heights, blocking light etc).

    I regard my garden as an extension of my home, and I love it. I love plants. I love trees, and I love colour. I cut back, prune, feed, water and relish the greenery outside. but out of control trees are not good. And now my neighbour's silver birch which is twice as tall as the houses round here, is blocking my tv reception too. There is a "right to light" law here. And it is very necessary, as some feuding neighbours in some parts of the country use trees as ways to ruin their neighbour's homes.
    The answer is of course, to be considerate and reasonable. Sounds simple, doesn't it..... hahahahahaha.

  10. Preach it sister! If it was my universe to rule, no tree outside a forest would be taller than a second story and the neighbor's views would be considered before planting. You will be interested in post I will write in a couple of days about the utility company's tree trimmers and how much I wanted them to hack off various trees.

    Related pet peeve: people who plant trees five inches away from a fence. Get a clue people...the tree's girth grows!

  11. I love trees and would hate to live on a treeless lot. On the other hand, I wouldn't hesitate to have some cut down to improve the view or make my surroundings a bit sunnier.

  12. It is beautiful but I think I am seeing mosquitos..LOL agree... in moderation.

  13. I do love trees..but I also love seeing ther mountains and understand the need to have breathing room..so I'm totally on th fence.I think thought needs to be there in planting and decorating..both inside and out.

    Have a good day and look for the light :-)

  14. I loved your analogy of keeping things in our home that clutter and cloud our view of what are the essentials and create more work for us. A very good exhortation for me today as I clean house after a long weekend of guests and goings-on!

    Oh, trees add so much, but this is a decision we are facing now too; to add trees along the back of our property for a wind barrier as we get some powerful southernly winds, or keep the view of the mountains behind us. Hmmm...still undecided.

    Thanks Vee!

  15. Vee,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and preference to tree or not to tree! Thank goodness you do not live here in our heavily wooded area, you might smother ;c) I wish you a happy day dear friend!

  16. We're HOME and I just checked in on you. I'll try to post something later, but we are unpacking, and unpacking, and...where did all this STUFF come from?

    Love all the comments.

    All joys,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  17. Vee, I believe in balance too. Trees do have a tendency to take over. We recently chopped down a tree that appeared in our yard a couple of years after we moved in. It was beautiful and the colors of the leaves were a deep red so we decided to let it grow. It stayed rather small for years and then all of a sudden in one year it grew and grew into quite a large tree that interfered with the power lines. This year we made the decision to chop it down. We were sad but our yard looks much better and it gives our little Liliac bush a chance to florish and grow.

  18. I can't comment on trees on property as I had a very unfortunate experience with the same a few years ago and a bully neighbor. Suffice to say our beautiful bird filled tree was damaged beyound repair and our bully neighbor had a party when we were forced to cut it down .
    ;-( Cities need trees!

  19. I have enjoyed my visit here today. Much to think about, as usual.

    I must say that I totally relate to your post about trees and a good view. Both are so important!!!! But, you know from pictures of our 'cabin view' that the view always wins over too many trees. :D

    Enjoy a wonderful week!


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