When this house was built, it was the only one on this side of the street. Even as the neighborhood filled in around it, it remained the closest house to the main street for more than 50 years. In the 60s, the daughter of the owner built a house to the south, but still it remained far enough away to let the sun fill the bay window and heat the brick. And crack the brick and peel the paint on the window trim. So as long as we’ve been here we’ve been trying to come up with ways to shield the house from the sun in summer and let it warm the interior in winter. We built a trellis in front of a big blank wall where a tree used to grow too close. And last year we planted a row of birches on the south side. But then the biggest one, the one in the middle, cracked in a storm. So I’ve been trying to find the perfect tree to replace it. And I finally settled on the Frans Fontaine cultivar of the European Hornbeam. It is a slow-growing, columnar tree that grows to about 15 feet wide and 35 tall (perfect for our area that is 13 feet between houses, with our house being about 25 feet at the roofline). After much searching and a lengthy back-and-forth with the local nursery, I finally ordered one from Forestfarm. And it arrived the other day! And it is 7 feet tall (a foot taller than expected)! And it looks great and is chilling in a shaded area for a few days before being planted. Here it is in the living room after arrival.
And chilling on the deck with the handyman-made lattice for the front and side porches.
And a closeup of the leaves.
And, finally, in its new pad.