Mama in her garden - enjoying the heatwave.
The girls and I have flown north to join Beloved and Adventure Boy back home in Queensland.
I've inspected my fruit trees - the sunburnt mango, shrivelled coffee plants and row of oranges, and they've become a lot happier with watering and the recent rain, but they don't compare to the lush abundance of my mama's garden, the product of thirty years of adding a few more fruit trees every year. The jungle of figs, strawberries, apples, mandarins, grapes, avocados, cherries, cherry-plums, lemons, oranges, pears, peaches and plums is amazing. At any time of year you can walk down and there will be something ripe to eat. This year I gave her a cold-climate banana to add to the bounty.
This year my brother gave mama three red hens, the first poultry in almost a decade, although I grew up with an array of ducks and chickens, including Veronica, my darling white silky bantam rooster, who used to sit on my shoulder and groom me. These hens are tame - although not as tame as Veronica - and determined - they jump underfoot as you walk down the garden, and will leap up to peck watermelon from your hand.
Giggle-bear adored searching for the 'eggies' every morning, and then making them into cakes. She was also very determined that the 'yoo-kies' should stay in their little house, picking them up and carting them up the path and into their very snug little living quarters, where they would cluck, aggrieved, until we came to release them (again!)
When I remember the garden when we first moved in - the long block waist high with sun-bleached grass and the gully so full of blackberries we didn't know there was a gully, a couple of cherry plums and nothing else - the change seems magical.
I love the many shades of green, and the way the light fell so honey-gold through the leaves.