The only thing we left when we demolished the old place was this fabulous tree. We left it there to climb and admire and to drop its red flowers and leaves and pods and shit all over the new paving. It is a pretty majestic thing and we can take absolutely no credit for its existence except that we allowed it to survive.
Almost on arrival into the old house, we got the tree ripper-outers in and they demolished the front garden which was full of ugly palm trees and other stuff, and while they were there I got a bit carried away and enticed them into the backyard, which we have since been told was professionally landscaped at huge expense, and they did a bit of a number out there too.
Concrete and hard landscaping are my favourite garden features. Oh yes we have planted more than a hundred bushes etc, but they are sort of sculptural. Who am I kidding, we have no clue about landscaping so we just popped in things that we thought might look good, but we always had an idea that the ‘garden’ should look tidy and organised. There is no madness of mixed planting, of different colours and heights and all that which many find so attractive. We have stuck to a few species and are happy with a contained, focused look.
Except for the big old Poinciana. She has grown in the front corner for a long time. She is untethered and wild. The branches spew out in all directions over the fence and over the paths and the shade created is a welcome relief. She has managed to kill off 2 or 3 trees planted on the footpath as part of a Council beautification plan, so she stands firmly in charge.
My old house in Durimbil Street had a big old wiley Poinciana on the footpath near my driveway, and when it flowered it was time to get sorted for Christmas. A troupe of mismatched folks with bugger all else to do would gather on christmas morning under the tree and drink champers and eat cold fruit and croissants and other strange rather unchristmassy fare. The tree provided shade and shelter as well as beautiful floral table decorations.
Poincianas in full bloom always remind me that it’s time to dust off the Amex card and get to the shops, except that this year I might not move too far from the computer, set up so I can watch the breeze blow those bloody flowers onto the path.