One of our lovely new neighbor dropped by just before Easter with welcome wishes and housewarming goodies. As we sat at the kitchen table with coffee, I was thrilled to discover she is an avid gardener. We chatted about our horticultural interests, hers leaning toward garden design. After a while, she volunteered that there were two plants she could not tolerate. One is the common burning bush (Euonymus alata), an Asian immigrant that is now classified as invasive in the Eastern US. It is a dense shrub, loved by birds for winter shelter, that gives a spectacular color show for about two weeks every fall. Birds spread the seeds far and wide where the shrub out competes native plants in the wild.
I concur with her about the invasiveness of the shrub, having removed a large one from our Virginia property. She suggested we remove the sizable burning bush that grows near our entrance. She is right and we will.
The other plant she did not like is the pine tree. Gee….who knows why but I have a weakness for pine trees, I admitted…. especially these soft needled Eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) that are so prolific in New Hampshire. “But they are everywhere,” she said. “But..,” I added. “I’ve planted several through the years on the coast of Virginia and they did not take well to the heat.” So, though I might change my mind some day, right now I do love seeing them everywhere here.
White pines surround us in this area. For me, the sound of the wind whispering through the soft pine branches is a soothing melody on a warm summer day. I think of Thoreau’s writings where he often mentions the white pine trees and forests. “Yet I had the sun penetrating into the deep hollows through the aisles of the wood, and the silvery sheen of its reflection from masses of white pine needles.”
Through the kitchen window, against the backdrop of majestic tall white pines, my view of large rhododendron with swollen buds and tall lilacs (Syringa vulgaris), soon to be heavy with bloom, simply appeals to me. All is well in our new neck of the woods.