We were like monkeys - Feb 19, 2009

Last week I had a reunion with the Anderson family who lived behind us at Rydalmere. When I was a kid we used to jump their fence in Summer and swim in their above ground pool. Kenny's big brother Brian used to hold us under the water until we almost turned blue. He was like a crocodile.

They had a huge Santa Rosa plum tree that got covered in huge sweet plums just before Christmas. The kids from around the neighbourhood knew when the plums were ripe and we would climb from our fence into the tree and eat fruit all day. Kenny had a huge dog that tried to eat my brother once so we sat in that tree like monkeys and screamed every time the dog came near.

The Plum tree is gone now and so is the pool but the backyard has been transformed into a private oasis with beautiful shade trees. As you step out of the house and onto the lawn you are surrounded by an amphitheatre of trees. The ambience was incredible, it was like being in a forest rather than suburbia. The trees were full of birds including Kookaburras, Magpies, Parrots and Honey Eaters.

An area has been paved under the trees where the grass wouldn't grow and a table and chairs is an inviting place to sit on those hot days. The temperature is at least 10 degrees cooler in the shade.
I came away from Kenny's place wanting to plant more trees in my garden. I have planted a Chinese Elm and a Crepe Myrtle so far. I have found a few places at my sons school where more trees are needed too. Trees are a great legacy to leave your children and they will love climbing them too.

Tim Pickles is a Horticulturist and Director of Tim's Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown 46267022.