Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A wedding anniversary tree for Betsy and me

If I haven't already mentioned, I have a bit of a thing for trees. For most women this same desire would be elicited by shoes or handbags. I have short little hoof like feet best suited to a clog and cannot balance in heels. I have a bad habit of leaving over ripe pears in handbags. Enough said.

 This tree fetish caused significant problems for my marriage as our old yard simply did not have room for any more and Legoman would threaten to mow over any new trees that I tried to sneak in. In my favour I did manage to squeeze in a frangipani, a tibouchina and a travellers palm around the biggest mango tree in the world.

One of the best things about Betsy was her personal collection of trees and lots of space to negotiate for a few more. Just as I had a list of requirements for our new house I also had a list of most coveted trees that I would love to have in my garden and Besty provided almost the entire list which went something like this :

1. Jacaranda-  my all time favourite and Betsy has 3 of these in the front garden and 2 down the side
2. Poinciana - quintessentially Brisbane tree - Besty has a massive one of these in the backyard that has already been earmarked for a treehouse by my son and several neighbourhood boys
3. Macadamia nut tree- medium sized and already prolifically producing nuts for us
4.Frangipani- this is a must for a Brisbane garden and ours is huge and gnarled and perfect for the kidlings to climb in for photos
5.Laurel tree- these are one of my favourites but are massive and were not on the essential list. There are 2 in neighbouring yards so we get to enjoy them but not have them blocking all our sunlight
6.Crepe myrtle- we have 2 of these still shrub sized rather than trees but with gorgeous musk pink flowers

As a bonus she also had 2 lemon myrtle trees with their wonderful scented leaves and a smattering of lillypillies for privacy screening.
What about a mango tree I hear you ask? Well we had one of those at our old house and while they are amazingly lovely with their rich green foliage and lush canopy they have a bad habit of biennially producing tonnes of inedible fruits that rot all over the ground and create a slushy fermented carpet. So no tears for the missing mango tree but do still love them, in other peoples yards.

There was only one essential tree missing and it is in my humble opinion one of the most beautiful trees to thrive in our humid Brisbane climate.
And soon after we moved in we found a space for it and then last week at the nursery there it was , a perfect size and shape, my very own Tabebuia Palmeri. Legoman and I agreed, it was a perfect 10th wedding anniversary present to each other and now our little tree has pride of place in the front corner of the garden.

 She is here from the very start with us and will grow and flower along side our children and she represents 10 years of marriage for Legoman and I. We had our last house for almost 10 years to the day so it is obviously an important milestone for us.

Tabebuia palmeri have been used heavily by Brisbane City council as a nature strip planting and you will find them all over Brisbane particularly around Paddington. They are deciduous which is rare in Brisbane and then in spring the bare branches are covered in gorgeous trumpet shaped flowers like a Jacaranda except in pink (or bright yellow but personally the yellow is a little lurid for me).

 They can grow into quite a big tree and I love that we have made our own mark on Betsy's garden for all the families to come after us, who will get to enjoy our little tree all grown up just as we are enjoying all the trees that are already here for us. And when my children are all grown up I will look at the once little now big tree and be reminded of my once little now big children.

Make your mark, relish your children, plant a little tree and grow along side it.


  1. Happy anniversary guys! I can't believe it was 10 years ago! That was a great day. My clearest memory is of us frolicking around the rose bushes in new farm park. Would love to see some pics of how young and gorgeous we all were :)

  2. lovely sounding tree, as you know I am more of a shoes and handbag kinda girl...

  3. Trace,
    I do have to say I am quite partial to a good Spencer and Rutherford bag and my prized S&R work satchel has never been sullied by fruit of any sort. And I do love my butterfly bag, it has replaced a similar bag that I wore to death. Just love love love trees, both ornamental and productive. Mel.

  4. Hello there, have dropped in via Life in the Country. Lovely to meet you and Betsy! Also love the anniversary tree idea - we did something similar when we moved into our current house about a year ago, planting an apricot tree in February for my birthday then an orange tree in October for D's birthday.