The dreary grey-greens and browns of the Australian bush did not appeal to many early settlers, used to soft bright English and Irish greens.
As with many of our flowers, you need to be up close — and unblinkered — to see just how varied and colourful our trees are.
My indigenous rainforest trees have a range of colour surprises, from subtle burnished bronze to vivid lipstick pink. Being in an upside-down world, new leaves rather than old are coloured, as in the Lilly-Pilly.
This pink toothbrush grevillea is flowering on the only branch left to it — which is the one hanging out so far over the track that the wallabies can’t reach out from the bank to break off or up from the track to pull down to strip. Hardly a well-balanced shrub, but if I prune it, they’ll eat any new growth and that will be the end of it — and no more pink blooms for me.
And if tree trunks are supposed to be boring brown or grey, just look at this young Blue Gum, a glistening olive green after rain.