Friday, 12 April 2013


Lovely trees at Victoria Park, Ballarat

    My love of trees began as a girl. Climbing them of course – as all children love to do! This pastime along with one of my all-time favourite stories – The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton set me off on a tree loving adventure.

One of the first chapter books I ever read - The Magic Faraway Tree is set in a wood where the Faraway Tree is inhabited by fairy-folk and laden with fruit of all kinds from acorns to lemons. Its topmost branches lead to ever-changing magical lands above the swirling clouds. You can imagine can’t you that as a kid I fantasized about climbing up giant trees as far as I could, to see if there really was another land up there!

I had favourite trees as a kid too. Particular ones that I visited often and hung out at. Some were at parks and places that we went to regularly and I always felt happy hanging out up in their branches or nesting underneath their boughs and branches in a makeshift cubby.

Visits to my father’s native land of New Zealand meant lovely cuddles of the giant Kauri trees and then in my teenage years a trip to California meant a visit with the Redwoods. These giant trees are really unbelievable - even when you are standing right in front of them you can’t quite believe they are as big as they are.

Of course my children have claimed one of the trees in our yard as ‘theirs’ and if you can’t find them – you always know where they’ll be. Its innate isn't it and I know from their response when we read the Magic Faraway tree together that the enchantment of a land called ‘Do-as-you-please’ is pretty enticing! Go forth and climb up a tree to - Do as you please….who wouldn't want to go there!

We are fortunate enough to live in the hustle and bustle of Ballarat’s centre and yet a stone’s throw from gorgeous Victoria Park and the Botanical Gardens which are filled with lovely old specimens. Lots of opportunities to have impromptu picnics and the odd tree hug here and there – how lucky we are.

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