Two years ago the top half of a tree that sits right on the water came down during the winter and now just a scraggly half with few branches remains. There has been some pressure here to remove it, but given I am a lover of trees I lobbied that it is habitat, and the tree remains. This year we have been rewarded with the return of a woodpecker family that has made the tree its home in the past. Additionally, I think the staggered height and interesting windswept shape actually improves the overall look of this tree clump.
Knowing however that the family doesn't always see it that way, last year I planted a Silver Lace Vine at its base. Risky in zone 4 right on the water, but it has come back this year and will hopefully grow up to the branches and out, I can just picture it cascading down above the water.
This year I am also going to plant a Blue Moon Wisteria from Spring Garden, which they claim will bloom up to three times annually and survive zone 4. Excellent, though I understand that Wisteria can take many, many years to bloom so I will be patient.
After all, I have the Silver Lace to keep us entertained in the interim.