I live in a back lane lined with backyards and I alone face it from my front door. It is a garbage lane where the council’s trucks come in twice a week to collect garbage, recyclable material and green waste. This ugly sight used to come to view as soon as I step out of my front door.
It was not always like this; there used to be a tree that stood in front of this ugly building that I was not even aware of until the tree was removed. I recall the day: first the sound of chainsaws; it went on all day. That evening the hundreds of rainbow lorikeets came home and shrieked as they flapped their wings in the air where their home had been. They vanished with the loss of the tree and I was left with that memory and a sight that is even harder to erase.
There is no way of replacing a massive, ancient tree. Outside my front door is a driveway cum car space of concreted pebbles. If I want a tree to block the ugly view; I must have one in a container. In fact, many trees in containers, and my orchard was born.
The timing was perfect. I had sold my car and I had just returned from Hedgebrook, a writers retreat in the USA where I spent six weeks feasting from its organic gardens and orchard. I started with two cumquats and the collection of fruit trees grew to offer a buffer from the harsh reality. I know the ugliness of my neighbourhood remains. The tunnel of green that used to be my lane now sees more of the sky but I am grateful to have my miniature orchard and accept those things that I cannot change.