Trees – An Expression of Peace & Joy
With a lifelong heart for nature and all things flora, Christina Andersen recently gifted us all three beautiful Acer Rebrum (commonly known as Autumn Blaze) trees.
These deciduous trees with maple shaped leaves turn a vibrant blaze of red in autumn and display an abundance of rich green foliage come summer, providing some lovely shade to rest and ponder.
Christina is a resident at Mayflower Brighton who believes in working hard, being grateful for what you have, and giving back when you can.
“Growing up in a two-bedroom house with mum and dad and 3 kids was a tight situation and we were very poor. I was always brought up to appreciate everything I was given and taught to be generous and give to others if you have the ability.”
“We lost dad when I was just 13, and there was no assistance for mum as he wasn’t an Australian Citizen. One of my sisters had a disability and the other had just commenced nursing studies, so I exaggerated my age so I could obtain work to support my family.”
Christina has loved nature and gardening all her life, taking solace in its beauty. She says that “being amongst nature brings her a peace and joy that helps transcend pain in both mind and body ‘like a warm hug’.” So, with this very thing in mind, Christina gifted three beautiful trees to help others experience the same relief.
Worded by Christina herself, the commemorative plaque beside the trees explains how embracing nature and your beautiful surrounds can help relieve your pain in poetic flavor:
“As You Reach Out Beyond Your Pain,
Embrace The Joy And Peace Your Troubles Bestowed. Abundant Blessings Enrich Your Soul.”
The material and shape for the plaque was also carefully considered.
“The plaque is made from an old Tasmanian oak wine barrel,” said Christina. “I wanted something very informal and shaped to represent how my body has been challenged throughout my years. Tasmanian Oak is a type of wood that can really last.”
Christina has loved plants since she was a child, and fondly recalls the joys of picking wild flowers and the excitement of entering garden competitions with her sister at the local show.
“We would make beautiful saucer bouquet displays, and use different flowers and plants for their meaning, colour and fragrance, such as rosemary for remembrance,” she said.
Christina admits that it took her a while to learn the difference between wildflowers and weeds.
“I would pick what I thought were flowers but were actually a weed known as Harbingers of Spring in a lovely shade of pink and gift them to my mother,” said Christina.
“We would also play with buttercups and rub the yellow flower under the chin of those we loved, leaving the yellow pollen behind, to show affection and to say ‘I love you’,” she said.
Christina’s love of plants was also her inspiration when the time came to design her very own garden at her home in Bentleigh East.
Her magnificent garden is showcased on the real-estate brochure for the property, with the house surrounded by immaculately trimmed hedges of Chinese Star Jasmine and Orange Jessamine with its beautifully scented white flowers and large Yucca plants reminiscent of a tropical resort.
It was hard for Christina to leave her garden, however moving to Mayflower has given her a new garden she can love, sow into and enjoy.
“I donated the trees because it was heart wrenching for me to leave my garden, however moving in to my new abode at Mayflower gave me a new garden to love,” she said.
“The first moment I saw the empty lawn I felt something needed to be planted and it needed something to grow. As we fade, the trees will grow.”
Residents and staff at Mayflower Brighton would like to thank Christina for her thoughtful and generous contribution.