Garden Thoughts, Nature, Life and my Garden

When Life Gives You Limes!


Tahitian Limes in a vintage Grindley Petal Peach Bowl on an autumn morning…

Some limes from your own Tahitian Lime tree in a vintage Grindley Petal Peach bowl is definitely a very simple thing.

I’ve taken longer to describe it in words than the fleeting thought it might gain from a ‘sleepy head’ wandering past it on an Autumn morning.

But taking some time to really think about what that bowl of limes means to me this morning, I realised it’s the same simplicity that helps me live like a king.

Let me explain. All the money in the world can not buy the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables I can pick straight from my garden.

I do not have all the money in the world.

But by planting a food garden, my family and I have the absolute audacity to live like Kings. That’s gold!

The fresh air and general mental wellness a daily garden visit can provide anyone (mobile or non-mobile with assistance) is just one benefit.

Let me tell you a story.

When I was 22 years old I had to have half my thyroid removed because of a tumour that had formed on it, making it hard for me to swallow. I was newly married and a Health Information Officer, with all the latest information at my fingertips, for my condition. It was still scary. The big C was a possibility according to the tests.

That tumour was a turning point for me, which came early enough in life to shock me into what was important. It gave me the gift of years ‘head start,’ into realising my life priorities.

When you face a possibility of no tomorrow, it makes you appreciate today.

I had decided prior to this health crisis that my fledgling garden (then in boxes on our apartment balcony) would be a productive garden once we bought our new home and had a yard. Herbs, fruit and vegetables that would help me supplement my future family’s diet, since we wouldn’t be able to produce everything we ate, on a suburban block.

With half a thyroid gland and an all clear given after surgery, I set out on a grateful life, where I would choose a natural approach to my health, wherever possible. I hoped to  avoid the need to rely on supplementary thyroid balancing hormone drugs.

I am 50 later this year. I have not taken any thyroid hormone balancing drugs since that surgery. I credit a great deal of this to the fresh food enzymes contained in my food, from my food garden.

My garden has served a ‘food as medicine’ benefit for me, as well as the usual benefits.

Yes the garden has been a lot of work… but it’s also been great exercise for me. Yes we’ve had monetary costs setting the garden up, that other families without a garden, have not. But what cost do you put on your family’s physical and mental health?

In my opinion, a natural food garden is true health insurance.

So back to my morning’s thoughts of simplicity.

A tahitian lime is a gift of vitamin C from a tree that has produced bountifully for me over the several years since I planted it. I’m talking between 50-100kgs of fruit from one tree (in recent seasons).

The juice of one lime can provide up to 22 percent of the adult daily requirement of vitamin C. You don’t need a vitamin C pill if you’ve got limes…or whatever citrus is in season. And the vitamin C you take into your body in food form, will be absorbed efficiently and naturally through digestion.

The studies have been done. Read about them here if you’d like to know more.

My lime tree and I have done harsh and good seasons together over the years.

It stands firm…so do I. We’re simple.

So, back to morning thoughts of life giving you limes…

I say four words… thank you very much!



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’