The instructions on the seed packets are clear. Damage the seed with sandpaper, cover with boiling water for a day, plant singly and cover with wood ash. It’s a simulation of a fire. The seed is a couple of millimetres long, dark, with the beginning of a root dry at its side, as long as the seed itself. I imagine its unfolding: the pale root extends, the cotyledons open. Compare these to basil or lettuce seeds, tiny specks that must be sown shallow into moist earth and covered in about a millimetre of dirt.
Australian suburbs misunderstand our climate. The houses trap heat when they shouldn’t, and can’t keep it in when we need it. Brisbane was built on a floodplain but we mourn the loss of taxpayer dollars to every storm or surging flood. Leaves thrash, boxing the air in rising wind. Plastic swirls in the mangrove roots.
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.