"I am most at home in the bush, or when I can see the fluid, moon bark of a eucalyptus tree from a window, or smell the hot powder of winter wattle on my way home." - Daisy Beattie
Recently, we were walking through my favourite public garden in Manchester, which belongs to the home of Fletcher Moss, a writer who left his estate to the people of the city. I come here most often when I'm craving Mum's native garden or the Australian bush except, of course, my need is never satiated even though English trees and flowers are evocative and gorgeous.
You can imagine my reaction when, as we strolled through the gardens recently, I FOUND A GUM TREE.
There may have been squawking. Honking. Throwing my grateful heart at this cider gum was the only sane reaction. I confess I sniffed its trunk and leaves with abandon.
Plant love notes: Cider gums (eucalyptus gunnii) are Tasmanian natives and tolerate cold temperatures. They produce a sweet sap similar to maple syrup, which Indigenous Australians traditionally tapped the tree trunks to collect. When bottled and capped, the liquid ferments and resembles apple cider, hence the English name.
HOLLY RINGLAND grew up barefoot and wild in her mother's tropical garden on the east coast of Australia. Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two-year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old, living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another. In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. Moving to England in 2009, Holly obtained her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. Her essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. She now lives between the UK and Australia. To any question ever asked of Holly about growing up, writing has always been the answer.