Garden tragic Jude is asking this month for a b&w or monochrome garden-related photo. My garden is the bush, and one of my favourite plants is the spotted gum, which I've photographed untold times – smooth and stately, peeling in great slabs, gleaming with rich colours after rain. I've adjusted to its name change – once Eucalyptus maculata it has become Corymbia maculata – but a name change doesn't change beauty. The forests near home are filled with spotted gums and their companion burrawangs and, in summer, hyacinth orchids. In one patch on the headland the trunks are twisted and the trees stunted. Elsewhere they stand alone and can reach giant status. The Big Tree in state forest near J's has been a place of family pilgrimage for many years: if you haven't visited it you feel deprived of a mysterious pleasure. Other giants lurk on the outskirts of rainforest.
The one in the photo is the view from the front door of the house where my children grew up. I have seen it peering through mist; vivid in crimsons, creams and greens after rain; dangling shreds of bark at raking up time as the fire season revs up; serene and smoothly grey in afternoon light.