It's quite hard to appreciate pine trees if you live with them. Pines are pushy. They never let you forget they are there. For a start they drop needles; which other tree's leaves are so pointed and intrusive that they push through socks, slippers, flipflops and hardened soles to dig into flesh. When I say 'drop' I mean chuck down kilos at a time. I have just raked our terrace and filled and wheeled away 12 barrow loads of pine needles and there is still about the same amount left, hiding cunningly amongst the stones so I can't get them without taking all the pebbles off the surface. Pines are also amazingly fecund. I come back to our village house after a few winter months and the terrace is filled with baby pine trees which have to be pulled up one by one if we are not to be engulfed triffid-style in a few years. In April, pines also blow out yellow pollen which turns to an oleaginous sludge when mixed with water and makes the garden look as if a phantom yellow paint splasher has been at work. I now know that this pollen is a miracle panacea should you be a gentleman a little short of testosterone, but I'm not, so I just get annoyed at the mess. And as a final coup, if your garden is shaded by pines, you can forget growing anything else. A couple of years of pine needles will stunt the hardiest rose.
There is only one way to appreciate a stately pine - lie directly underneath, preferably on a well cushioned lounger, not on the pine needle studded gravel and look up at the morning sun filtering through the highest branches and listen. As the sun warms the tree, each pine cone opens at its own pace with a muted crack - it's the sound of the tree waking up. And being the Aegean, as the day warms, the breeze rouses itself and swooshes through the branches reminding the cicadas that it's time to accompany the pine cone orchestra.
I forgive pine trees all their bad manners as long as I have my hearing but the moment I'm as deaf as a post, those pines will be off to the garden post factory.