Thirty odd years ago, when my husband was still in primary school, his parents built a house on a large block of land, recently paddocks, and planted trees that are now full size - mangos and macadamias, jacaranda and poinciana. We enjoy their shade and bounty every day. Next door, another family built a house and started planting - and decades of work created a tropical oasis.
It amazes me that three decades can produce such an established garden from nothing. Now the kids are all adults with their own kids, and the adults are moving on, but the garden remains as a beautiful living testament to years of thoughtful care.
As I plant in my own once-bare yard, haphazardly, more in romance than horticultural know-how (survival of the fittest is a tried and true garden strategy, plonk it in and hope for the best works ... eventually) coffee, tea, cinnamon, lemon, mango, veggie and herb gardens and of course my beloved frangipanis, I dream about what they'll look like in thirty years. They're straggly and somewhat sad now - but then! (Grow garden, grow!) Whether we witness the full blooming or not.
A space of beautiful, green growing things is such a wonderful legacy - a place for family gatherings, weddings, baby showers, birthdays. The perfect place for children to run and play in shady places, protected from the sun, with lots of leafy hide-aways, and always making new discoveries.
And of course - vanilla. My envy over this vanilla plant (the two photos below) - matches my wonder and awe! It meanders its way right up into the branches. It turns out it's ridiculously hard to actually make vanilla from vanilla plants - involving finicky artificial fertilisation and difficult curing... but... vanilla!
My love of spices knows no bounds!