In 1967, after our marriage, we moved to our first home in Melbourne and in the front garden was a large weeping willow. Apart from providing shade in the summer, it made me aware of the seasons, from the bare limbs in winter to the new leaves in spring, luxuriant foliage in summer giving way to the autumnal change in colour prior to the loss of the leaves.
Our next home was in the Lurg district and here on our land were many trees of which two stand out.
At the bottom of one paddock stood an old eucalypt which appeared to be the playground of some goannas. This was the first time I was aware of these animals and I was fascinated by them and loved the tree, as a provider of security for them.
The other tree was a Peppercorn and this was closer to the house and near the sheep yards. It provided shade for any animals in the yard, but was also a favourite spot for our children to hide. I have always loved peppercorn trees and, although I have been told they provide homes for white ants, I continue to admire them and always get a warm feeling when I see one.
In 2000 we bought a house on a couple of acres between Tatong and Tolmie. This was in preparation for our retirement. We spent time planting trees as the paddock was rather bare. However there were three relatively mature Silky Oaks, Grevillea Robusta, which provided shelter for many birds. They were also a source of food for the Friar birds which used to gather in great numbers. Their noise was almost deafening at times, but the beauty of the trees with their gold “flowers” in spring was worth the breaking of the normal serenity.
Now we live in the town and are fortunate in that our garden had a couple of already well established, mature trees - a towering Eucalyptus which sheds it bark and a Desert Ash which provides a shady retreat in the summer. Also, my favourite, a beautiful Crepe Myrtle which gives joy, no matter the weather or the season. The colour of the limbs when devoid of leaves and flowers in the winter is stunning and matches it’s summer display
I cannot imagine a world without trees and,hopefully, will continue to enjoy their beauty for some time to come.