Not my garden, I’m glad, at least so far as the light goes, to say. The squash on those mounds would be a lot happier if they weren’t spending half their lives in shadow!

I’ve been thinking ill of trees, lately. The trees that will steal light from that squash are the ubiquitous Norway Maples that were planted all over New England after Dutch Elm disease. Now, I can see vistas of tall, elegant trees in parks and in public spaces. But it’s hard for me to see a good reason to have messy, ugly, and disease-ridden Norway Maples anywhere. But it’s especially hard for me to see tall trees on property, exactly because of what the picture above shows. I need to read a book on lawns, but the ideal image at right seems to show the mindset at work. These trees were planted for the same bad reasons that lawns are.

I mean, come on. Where are the vegetables? The energy those trees take should go to food.

Our ideal for trees on the property would make more sense if the trees were short, so they didn’t steal so much light, and if they were edible: Fruits, or nuts. The exceptions would be trees that don’t shadow gardens; they would at least contribute leaves for banking and mulching. If you want a cool house, insulate, which you should be doing anyhow. A tall tree isn’t really fit for that purpose.