Among the many emotions that we have for our gardens, one that is often present but rarely consciously developed is veneration. We don't usually think about making a plant venerable (bonsai being a conspicuous exception), although there are actually many opportunities. Certainly we can't make a tree ancient, although if we are lucky enough to have old trees we can make their survival a priority. We can also recognize that some plants have growth habits the predispose them for precocious venerability. I recently visited the Morton Arboretum in Chicago and photographed a sixty year old hawthorn. Sixty does not seem like a venerable age for a tree, but hawthorns reach maturity faster than others. Neglected hawthorns can look unsightly. It would be tempting when moving onto a neglected property to remove the overgrown hawthorns, but they may be worth the effort to save and prune for future veneration that may only take ten or twenty additional years. That is a fast track for a venerable tree.
This sixty year old cockspur hawthorn (Crategus crusgalli inermis) has precocious venerability.
An inherited plant like this Clivia comes with a special emotional status.