In 1976 my husband, Guy, our 3 children and I fell in love with this half-acre block of land in Cairns, North Queensland.

The owners of the house tried frantically to show us the 'Queenslander' we were buying, but we were buying this little half acre so we could grow tropical fruits, spices, flowers and vegetables as our parents and great grand parents had done on a small tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

We spent days, months, years, searching for seeds and plants - driving hundreds of miles looking at gardens everywhere, searching for new plants (as rare fruit plants were not so readily available for purchase in those days). As a result of real hard work, our little half acre was sometimes referred to as "Guy's Little Half Acre" by some of the hundreds of visitors we have had walking through and tasting the fruits of our garden. We loved our garden and swore never to leave it.

I have been prompted to write this article because a few weeks ago, for various reasons, we decided to put our home up for sale.

Ever since then, our garden has been tugging at our hearts. The flowering fruit trees have put on the most spectacular show. Some shrubs and vines which flowered fairly in the past are now clothed in vivid colours.

When friends remark how lovely they are, we say - 'Yes, because we're selling the place, this tree or this shrub or this vine is putting on a real show'. We were talking about our trees! They were trying to keep us here with all this beauty and promise of a fruitful harvest!

The following is a list of fruit trees we have growing:
1 purple Mangosteen
3 var Wax Jambu
3 var Pummelo
1 Canistel
3 var Rambutan
3 Bilimbi
1 Mabolo (velvet apple)
3 Kumquats (1 sweet)
3 Breadfruit
3 var Jack Fruit
2 var Avocadoes
6 var Mangoes
2 var Lychee
1 Cocoa
2 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Cocoplum
1 Abiu
2 Soursop
1 Star Apple (purple)
3 var Guavas
1 Brazilian cherry
1 Carambola
1 Grumichama
1 Miracle Fruit
1 Madagascar flavouring lime
1 Bullocks Heart custard apple
1 Vavangue (?)

We also have cinnamon, vanilla, pandan, citronella, curry leaves, horseradish, cassava, bananas, herbs, palms and flowers.

There is always fruit in season and we can always pick a fresh fruit for a friend and for the family. We use breadfruit, spondias, mangoes, lime, cinnamon, curry leaves, horseradish, cassava, bananas and herbs extensively in our cooking, and other fruits in jams and chutneys.

"Guy's Little Half Acre" doesn't want us to leave. So we are staying!

Sheila Morgan

DATE: September 1992

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