Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Enigma of the Eucalypt

Among trees, Eucalypts express an Australian will to survive that can be anything from precarious to heroic. Here where I live, are some of them. Scarred and twisted: 
Handsome and refined:
Whippet-thin, leaning whichever way:
Each tree uniquely textured:
Some with skin almost human:


  1. Enjoying yer latest series F..playful and fanciful!
    Keep em coming..Spring has sprung!

  2. Dear Faisal, this is not an original comment but an echo of william's - keep em coming! lovely bark. cheers, c

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous trees and photos! Is this a natural peeling or disease, lightening strikes, etc.?
    Just this weekend I was waxing on (to myself) about my big peeling tree and wondering if this would be it's last year.
    Do they smell good Faisal?

  4. beautiful trees- all trees give me the impretion they are alive creatures. with personality and all...

  5. You have write something about the song - October by A-ha before.
    I just want to tell you that this song is also one of my favorites.
    Have a nice day.

  6. Hi Billy - I don't know when I've ever wanted spring to spring so much. The birds are already getting busy.

    Hi Catmint - thankyou. You wouldn't know the eucalypts were so closely related, given their diversity, would you?

    Hi Meggs - the peeling and cracking are entirely natural, either seaonal or in response to environmental strains/demands. It's in their nature to embody the often challenging conditions they grow in, eg drought, fire, flood, vastly varying, sometimes very poor, quality of soil. Yes, they have fragrances - minty, usually, but also lemon or other smells, none of them unpleasant, sometimes pronounced.

    Oh yes, Demie, trees are very much alive, not just objects.

    Hans, I'm sorry, I removed the A-ha song because it seemed, on reflection, to be out of place on a blog which is more or less supposed to be about gardening. Not many people know it. I'm glad you like it too.

  7. thanks for stopping by my blog post on Hiroshima because I have come here and discovered your wonderful blog-- we are fellow gardeners. I love the up close trunks- so textured and wabi-sabi...beautiful natural works of art.

  8. Thankyou, Donna. An interest in gardening can be related to other work where growth and creativity matter, where life matters. War, of course, is the opposite. A number of Japanese artists have found the ancient landforms of Australia compelling, as I do.

  9. I can almost smell them from your pictures... It took me a while to get used to the peeling bark of Eucalypts, but now just seeing them makes me ache for Australia. I would love to be able to "have it all", to live in all these countries of my life at the same time.

  10. Liisa, though I've only ever lived in Melbourne, I know that ache of wanting to be in another landscape or place, even if it might only be a short distance away. In your case, you've straddled diverse environments...that must give you an unusually broad perspective.

  11. Hello Gardener!
    I'm very glad to have found your blog. I have never visited Australia and your gardening writings will be such a great change from my English countryside musings!
    I loved your photographs of the tree bark and your last piece really made me smile.
    Best wishes,

  12. Hello Jane, it's very nice to have you visit! It works both ways, of course...I like to read about the English countryside. Thankyou for the kind words. We are slowly coming out of winter - we get that lovely blackbird singing in the evenings now, though all the birds are starting to spring about with added zeal.
    All the best to you,

  13. Faisal, these trees are very exotic to me. I first saw them, and loved their fragrance(s) on my first visit to California over 30 years ago. Since they can't grow here, I still know them only as indoor plants. I saw one in a nursery last weekend with a strong lemon fragrance, but I remain totally ignorant of the various types of eucalyptus.

  14. James, you probably don't need to grow one, with so many trees of your own, but there's probably one that would take to your boggy conditions. You see them everywhere here, of course, a huge variety of forms.

  15. Hi Faisal, brilliant. I love them. I've planted five eucalypts at work and a couple are romping away quite alarmingly (a couple of others are sulking). Looking forward to seeing them as mature specimens - great that they grow so quick!

    I was surprised whilst in Sicily last year at just how many eucalypts there were there. They looked thoroughly at home though.


  16. Hi Dave...yeah, they're fantastic, though with such variation - some of them growing into monsters, and many of them with the habit of dropping off limbs at apparent random ( just when you were enjoying the picnic...) - you have to know what you've chosen. I knew they're being grown in Spain, California and Africa, but I didn't know about Sicily. Of course, every tree that comes from the northern hemisphere has been transplanted here too.
    Cheers, Faisal.

  17. Looking across the South African countryside, the trees planted for shade, and timber, are eucalyptus (then pine). Sadly becoming invasive and guzzling water. But it is practically and in imagination/memory, hard to see my country without your eucalyptus!