For the Love of Trees

A few days ago I visited Sorensen’s Glasshouse & Gardens https://www.sorensensglasshouse.com.au/ in Leura and had the best time walking through the garden admiring the magnificent trees in their understated winter elegance.

I was reminded of a beautiful documentary I watched a few months ago called Judi Dench: My Passion For Trees https://iview.abc.net.au/show/judi-dench-my-passion-for-trees

The host, Dame Judi Dench, shares her fascination for trees and discusses their wonders with various historians and scientists. Between segments Dame Judi quotes her favourite poems by Shakespeare. Such a treat!

In the Blue Mountains we partially owe our UNESCO World Heritage status to our amazing trees. Among them: 91 different types of eucalyptus trees and the Wollemi Pine which is one of the world’s oldest and rarest trees. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/917

Recently I also discovered two delightful picture books about trees, both by Australian authors and artists.

One Tree written by Christopher Cheng is simple but sensitively unfolded story about a little boy who discovers a tree seedling in an urban environment. With the help of his grandfather, he nurtures it to thrive on the balcony of their high rise apartment. The boy’s passion for growing his tree is contagious and soon the whole community is following suit. The book is stunningly illustrated by Bruce Whatley.

I fell in love with One Tree at Megalong Books https://www.megalongbooks.com.au/ in Leura a few weeks ago and bought it straight away. Since then I have been recommending it to all the book lovers I know! Today I also saw a copy in the window of The Turning Page in Springwood http://www.indies.com.au/TheTurningPageBookshop

One Tree was published by Penguin Random House Australia in 2019.

A couple of weeks later I discovered One Thousand Trees written and illustrated by artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers. It is an interesting juxtaposition in title to One Tree but very similar in sentiment. In the middle of an urban environment, the only character, Frankie, dreams of a thousand trees. Using a minimalist approach with text, the story traces Frankie’s imagination of tangibly interacting with trees. The illustrations are gentle and beautifully structured.

One Thousand Trees was published in 2017 by Freemantle Press.

Before I head outside for more tree therapy, I’ll finish with one of my favourite tree quotes:

Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.

Khalil Gibran

Sorensen’s Glasshouse & Gardens

Do you ever long for somewhere beautiful to sit and unwind? Somewhere relaxing to meet a friend for lunch? Perhaps somewhere peaceful to spend quality time with a loved one? Then Sorensen’s Glasshouse & Gardens is for you.

Sorensen’s Glasshouse is a unique cafe and nursery surrounded by a beautiful tree garden. I stopped by last weekend and when I arrived the winter sun was streaming through the expansive windows of the glasshouse. It was gorgeous. I spent a lovely couple of hours eating a leisurely lunch, checking out the extensive range of local products for sale and exploring the garden. The deciduous trees in the garden are impressive even in their winter state of undress. It will be lovely to go back and see the garden in every season.

At Sorensen’s Glasshouse you can order hot and cold beverages, light meals, picnics and treats. There is also a scrumptious locally made ice cream by Dave Ja Vu which is a must try. There are inside and outside seating options and picnic blankets as well. Picnics are best ordered ahead of time.

Sorensen’s Glasshouse & Gardens is easy to find at 8 Herbert Street, Leura and there is plenty of parking on the road.

More about Sorensen’s Glasshouse & Gardens can be found on instagram: http://@sorensensglasshouse and their website: https://www.sorensensglasshouse.com.au/

Soup

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

One of the simple pleasures of winter is soup. It’s nourishing, filling and a guaranteed way to warm up. If a winter lurgy has laid you low, a hot bowl of soup is your best friend. It not only soothes a sore throat, but keeps you hydrated and gives your immune system a boost. It is the ultimate comfort food and best when homemade. Crusty bread on the side takes it to another level. On the weekend I had a bit of a soup fest:

Now I am keen to whip up a big pot of my favourite Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup!

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

  • 1/4 Japanese pumpkin
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • paprika
  • Cajun or Moroccan spice mix
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  1. Chop leek and sauté with garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add vegetable stock.
  3. Peel and chop the other vegetables and add them to the stock.
  4. Add seasonings to taste.
  5. Simmer until vegetables are soft.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and purée.
  7. Serve piping hot garnished with sour cream, fresh chives and cracked pepper. Crusty bread on the side takes it to another level.

Other favourites in our house are Laksa, Soto Ayam (Indonesian chicken soup) and Minestrone. What’s your favourite?