“In Autumn we often drive through the Australian countryside to visit family. From the road I spotted it, an old tree there on its own heavily laden with bright yellow fruit. The ghost of an old home stood by, long forgotten.

Wanting to pick some my husband and I drove along the dirt lane. Soon a bucket full of ripe fruit sat on the boot of the car. The quinces were fuzzy and slightly oily. In no time their aroma filled the car, a smell so unique and rich; it immediately provoked a sense of comfort.”


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Lilly Pilly and Red Rose Jelly

Our writers group planned an afternoon of writing. The Lilly Pilly tree by the letterbox bore its fruits prolifically. Last year I watched the fruit fall wistfully thinking it a shame. Just this morning I watched my dog nibbling gingerly at the fruit. She is a Labrador. She is fond of apples, plums and Lilly Pillies.

Too distracted to google it, I kept wondering if the fruit was edible or were those bright coloured berries poisonous? I erred on the side of poisonous.

Not really wanting to know, justified my dislike for the tree and its annual mess on the driveway. Although a lot gardeners loved the foliage, I felt ambivalent. A fellow writer led me out of my ignorance educating me about this wonderful Australian plant. Here is what I found out. Now I feel totally different about the tree.  It had a use. I could make fruit jelly!

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