Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Your favourite tree?

Having an open studio during my residency at Grafton Regional Gallery invited many informal conversations with visitors. I would inevitably ask them about their favourite tree in Grafton. There were some clear stand outs, in particular the large White Fig (Ficus virens) on the corner of Prince and Victoria Streets. Planted around 1880 this giant of a tree reaches well across the width of Grafton's extra wide streets casting cool shade under its green umbrella. The camera doesn't really capture its scale.

Jacaranda's, naturally, had several mentions, sometimes a particular tree that stood more alone was distinguished. And then there were comments on Silky Oak and Flame trees, along with the large row of figs on Breimba Street, another cool shady green sanctuary. I was stopped in the street and asked what the Tulipwood trees were, perhaps photographing trees gave away my interest.
When I first arrived in Grafton the Tabebuia were in full flower with bells of golden yellow filling the branches and making carpets below. By the time my residency ended the Poinciana trees were bursting with new leaf and flowers just emerging.

In the last week I photographed several Lacebark trees along Bacon Street, they were a standout for me, I just love the form of the tree with it's pink bell flowers. And one other curious tree will remain memorable, not so much because of its species, paperbark, more for the two metre cloak of nature strip grass which it wore.

There is one more tree I'd like to mention, a rare species in cultivation, the White Lace Flower (Archidendron hendersonii) on Duke Street, had its beautiful puffball flowers on display. These are only a selection of the street trees I saw in flower. Do you have a favourite?

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