This last week, we have had two tree planting ceremonies to mark the visits of two of our children.
Naturally, they have visited before; indeed, for many years they hardly ever left here. Undoubtably they still call Moble home. However, their visits are so short and sweet these days by comparison, measured in frantic days rather than long, lazy months or the everlasting years that were their childhood.
We understood those years would fly past, as they most certainly did. They were halcyon days of summers spent in the creek and winters on Sunday picnics. Nanna’s flap bones and boiled potatoes vied with the endless laughter floating up from the canoe on the creek, with the occasional shriek and splash and the dogs barking frantically as another child was tipped out. I knew what the girls were doing by the tone of the dog’s bark.
We have planted so many trees here since we were married: poly pipe, a pressure pump and a piped bore system delivers water all over. The most successful yard plantings have been the eucalypts that we have transplanted after a good flood, they germinate in their hundreds and do well if moved when they are young. It is interesting to see the ones that come up along the creek and grow like topsy, much faster than any we plant. We have one across the waterhole that grew like a bean stalk, I think it is a Bowalli offspring, sent up years ago from our neighbours and marked by their splendid white trunks. All the better to reflect the moon.
We have also planted Athol Pines around the cattle yards with varying success. I know they are invasive, but they can’t harm anything where they are situated, and I love to suck on their salty leaves. Pepperina Trees, Schinus molle, have also done well though they are a politically divisive choice here. For many years Vote 1 for Mr.Moble kept them at bay, he has bad memories of them from an unhappy year at primary school. After much campaigning, Vote 6 for the Moble Gardener, in a happy coalition with her mother finally got up and planted quite a few. As is the way in green politics, a new candidate arrived home from overseas and joined her father’s party and once again, the Pepperina and all its graceful charm is banished from the planting lists.
The garden trees allow for more tender selections, so the Boston children planted a Chinese Tallow Wood, Triadica sebifera. I know this little tree will impress them when they return as it is quite quick growing and Mrs.Boston has no patience for strugglers. A great favourite here, they colour so well in Autumn, you can plant in and around them and have a lovely neat shape. I have quite a few of them planted throughout and enjoy the repeat as you walk around the garden. They and the Crepe Myrtle are outstanding tough garden trees for this climate.
The London children planted the Rogers’ Oak with due ceremony, I thought it was a good choice for them as the original acorn came from Britain so long ago. We noted with due solemnity the venerable majesty of the oak and our hopes that in decades to come they may find it growing here and remember their visit. Like Her majesty et al, the holes for both trees were pre-dug and ready so our little ceremony could be hastened before we were carried away by the flies and mosquitoes!
I know what I shall ask the other two girls to plant, trees to match the child is such an inspiring way to garden but we will discuss those trees another day.
I shall nurture and tend these trees when my girls have left again. They will speak to me in the girl’s childhood chatter, still echoed by the bower birds in the creek. I shall coax them along and look forward to being able to wrap my arms around both girls and trees very soon.
A toast to children and trees,
The Moble Gardener.