Trials With Hemlocks

Against these trees we have no charges to make of either stubbornness or ingratitude; given the conditions, the results are all, and more than all, we had a right to expect. The only ones that have not been what we could wish are the Hemlocks, which object strenuously to the dry, windy situation, and only live under protest. In vain do we plant nursery trees with good roots; they dwindle and pine, and refuse to profit by their advantages. Out of over forty trees planted on the lawn and its slopes, they are the only ones that fail to give satisfaction, and we desire to get the better of them if possible.

Tender Beauty Of The Hemlock

No evergreen is so graceful and suggestive of wild woodland ways as this feathery denizen of the forest, that seems to shrink from the companionship of man. The perfume of its boughs reminds one of camps in the woods, of canoes, of Indian guides, and silent solitudes. For me it has ever a peculiar and elusive charm, and I cannot come in my wanderings upon some majestic old tree beside a granite boulder, as it loves to grow, without a thrill compounded of association and admiration. The Hemlock seems to possess every beauty that a tree can have: its form, whether it be symmetrical with youth, or gnarled and twisted by age, is always impressive and noble; the murmur of its boughs is tenderly musical, its fragrance exquisitely wild and aromatic; its very shyness has a charm that seems to breathe distinction, and, best of all, it is perennially green, so that its blue shadows on the snow give one of the loveliest tones in a winter landscape.

Killed With Kindness

Why, then, since I woo it with such tender affection, such anxious care, does it refuse to grow for me? Possibly it is killed with kindness, and some wholesome neglect may be what its shy soul desires, for I notice that the little ones in the swale, half smothered in grass, do not die, though left wholly to their own wayward devices, while the pampered specimens on the lawn lift bare and ragged branches to the sky, from out their luxurious beds of mulching, and are painfully disappointing and uncertain.