Beauty’s Place in an Ecosystem

Adrienne Domingus
8 min readJan 21

The first winter we lived in our house, we cleared about a dozen holly trees lining the road front of our house. Neighbors were pleased: the previous occupants of our house hadn’t paid these trees any mind, so the neighbors had taken to pruning them themselves to prevent the spiny leaves a holly tree is known for — waxy, evergreen, alternating along the branch — from scratching their cars as they drove down the narrow lane. But as we were working, another neighbor stopped by and told us how she used to come by every winter and clip a few branches off to decorate her house for Christmas. She was joking…