Beginnings, journey, Nature, VintageTrish Card Art

Hope Symbols in our Lives


VintageTrish Card Art: ‘Mandala Egg’ Layered Hand-drawn Design Easter Collection 2018. My VintageTrish Card Collections available soon from this website in the SHOP.

This Australian summer season just passed, was the most testing summer I have had in my 25 year old garden. We seemed to have winds whipping out any remaining moisture in the soil for 8 months and baking heat and sun turning clay soil into ‘bricks’ then brick powder! In my area rainfall was the second lowest on record since records began and the highest temperature, 45.3 degrees celsius, was a culmination of several consecutive heatwaves which kept temps in the late 30 to early 40s for the majority of January and February. Even yesterday, ‘Autumn’,  was 34.9 degrees celsius. I get that summer is summer, ‘what do you expect?’ and I love the sun. But I was also glad to wave it’s intensity goodbye for a few months, over the equator to the North. Really…why would I begin a blog on ‘Hope’ with that ‘bleak’ but true story?

I begin that way because I, like every other gardening friend I know and probably millions I don’t know, plant a garden for one reason–Hope. Within that journey each season is heartbreak and elation–just like life in general. I’m not alone when my heart breaks for an avocado tree I couldn’t protect from second degree burns and my macadamia tree began ‘melting’. Luckily I could save both, one of which was transferred to a pot and complete shade. Both water tanks were bone dry for months. I was grateful to have town water, which many farmers don’t have and had to buy in by the truckload just to keep cattle and crops alive. Many gardens across Australia , many casualties.

The gardeners who lost their gardens in the cruel bushfires this season will plant again. That I know because I have seen countless demonstrations of that in this driest continent on Earth over many years.

But…like Audrey Hepburn said  ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’. It’s in moments of lack of hope, that Hope comes to the surface as that resilient human quality that gets us through the bad patches. Planting seeds is still not a confident activity for me–there’s no ‘knowing,’ just ‘hope’. But that’s good – every season no matter what the outcome for seedlings and gardens is an exercise in hope, and from that we gain resilience. Our gardens are the most amazing models of resilience. The resilience of Nature.

Pondering on this got me thinking of the symbols we use for hope. I’ve mentioned the seeds, they are one. The egg is another symbol of hope and new life. Whether you are religious or not, this Easter weekend gives us an opportunity to think about what an egg symbolises. The egg, just like the plant seed, or a mammalian embryo has every bit of information it will ever need, to LIVE. Nature wants it to LIVE. It is a symbol of hope but then must demonstrate that hope with qualities of resilience, in the life it goes on to encounter. Nowhere is it written in that seed, egg or embryo that ‘you can’t do this.’

In fact, what’s written in the Nature DNA coding of those symbols of hope, is quite the opposite of ‘can’t do this’ – YOU HAVE, DEAR ONE,  EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Now that, my friends, is HOPE in action. That is my Nature, and yours.

© Trish McGill 2018

My doodle (below) for my card design pictured (above)–it’s own ‘symbol of hope’



Beginnings, journey, Nature, Garden Thoughts, Nature

Nature is a Maker

IMG_9812I was out in the garden looking at blossoms on the Washington Navel orange tree yesterday. It made me happy to breathe in the delicious citrus scent and see the beautiful shape of the blossoms. That’s the affect Nature can have on us if we slow down and notice.

But then I was thrilled at the next layer of delight. The bees and the noisy myna birds were in a frenzy over the sticky green centres of the orange blossoms. The sticky green centres are part of Nature’s design of flowers – their job is to be sticky enough to draw the birds and bees to their nectar, achieve pollination AND turn those pollinated flowers into oranges.

Nature makes a lot of stuff. Nature makes it look so easy!

Dare I say it probably is easy for Nature… but we make it hard for Us…and Nature.

Nature goes through a long process to make a Washington Navel orange. From the time the tree blossoms it can take seven to twelve months for the orange to ripen into an orange we can eat. In that time it has gathered strength, blossomed, been pollinated,  developed baby oranges all the way into massive oranges. Provided the tree receives enough water, food and sunshine. But during this seven to twelve months, it is many things to many creatures.

An orange tree provides shelter to birds, nectar to bees–food for baby bees and citrus essence for honey. The orange is an evergreen tree, but it’s old leaves shed gradually as they are replaced by new. These discarded leaves aren’t wasted. They provide food, shade and shelter for small creatures. Soil bacteria right up to lizard size creatures find what they need from under the tree. In this sense the tree makes much more than ‘just’ oranges.

Now if you know this little piece of information, you can understand why using chemical ‘this and that’ will make it hard for Nature. People are appalled (rightly so) at the beautiful animals photographed dead at the hands of humans, on hunting expeditions. Yet trillions of tiny creatures, insects, beautiful bees, soil creatures, lizards and frogs die, at those same appalled viewers hands, each year, because they don’t realise this is what happens. Chemical sprays and fertilisers kill many things to ‘save’ one thing. Please stop using them, for Nature’s sake. Bees die if they sting you–heads up, they want to live. So some healthy respect for what might make them feel threatened is what you need to keep in mind and then, don’t do it.

Nature is, by design, a Maker. We are proof of that. Nature not only saves things it makes others in the process. A Washington Navel tree in a Natural Garden will make oranges and homes plus food to birth many more things. A Washington Navel tree in a chemically controlled garden will just make oranges and probably suffer from increasingly worse disease along the way. This is because Nature wants to to be part of a wider family and using chemicals, kills or prevents the birth of many things, before they have chance to join that family and help the tree through its life.

So when you hear me use the term Natural Gardening, know that everything in my garden is geared to one thing. I aim to help not hinder Nature, to be a Maker.

Natural Gardening is about supporting Nature to do Her thing, without chemicals or synthetic fertilisers. In this way I can receive and design-in, the gifts She gives our family in healthy food, pretty surroundings and delightful experiences. We can all have this delight.

Nature is a Maker. Please help Her.

©Trish McGill 2018

Beginnings, journey, Nature

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

This is Day One of the VintageTrish website and blog. I can say that I am very glad I have experience in writing, blogging, running a website, and social media.

Because I’m going to need every bit of the above to get this up and running! The enthusiasm for my content–well that’s a given. I’m not short on words for Nature – every blog I write will be related to it. If I’m talking and writing for myself only…that’s fine! I treat it like a diary. But maybe you’d be curious enough to join me.

I began my career as a Health Information Officer in 1991. I started my first natural food garden as a newlywed, on my apartment balcony. The passion continued throughout my career as an adult educator, multi media artist & writer, while operating my training business, & raising two sons with my husband. In 2014 completed my Permaculture Design Certificate with renowned practitioner and educator, Geoff Lawton. Coupled with my 25 years gardening experience I now felt ready to take this ‘hobby’ to another level. I have infused my unique skills in natural gardening, holistic thinking, living, & health education, into VintageTrish. This is the most ‘Me’ I have ever been. That’s why I’m ‘Vintage’Trish (as well as a love for Vintage fused with Contemporary).

I think you’ll like this and I hope you tell me why in the comments section. You won’t find me on FaceBook anymore. But all my social media links are here for VintageTrish YouTube, Instagram , Twitter , Pinterest  and in the Welcome section, so please join me there too! We will be a wonderful community talking mindful, positive, Natural content. The space is set. You and your friends are welcome. Let’s meet again soon 🌸

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


© Trish McGill 2018