the jacaranda tree plan

When we were in hospital with Riley we hatched a plan. We had looked out the hospital window and there was a big, beautiful Jacaranda tree outside. Our plan was to purchase a house with a big back yard.

In consultation with our beautiful son (yes we chat with him regularly), we planned to plant a Jacaranda tree in the back yard in a spot for all to enjoy. The tree would bloom around Riley’s birthday every year. This plan came to fruition in November 2014 where the tree was planted and Riley’s ashes were interred and used to support the tree in its growth. It is here that our family regularly talks to Riley and shares our lives as he is a part of us.

Our  children play and enjoy this special place. 'Riley's Place' as it has become known. It is a place of play, reflection, noise and celebration. Riley and his place has very much become a part of our home. 

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RILEY'S JACARANDA TREE
Nanna & Poppa's tree
Nanna & Poppa's tree

The parent tree where Riley's pup was taken from. This beautiful tree lives in Nanna & Poppa's front yard.

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Riley's Pup
Riley's Pup

The 'pup' Uncle Adam and Kelly (Riley's Mum) retrieved from Nanna and Poppa's front yard.

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Riley's tree 1
Riley's tree 1

Riley's tree started to die. It was recommended to take all leaves off of it to give it the best chance. It remained as a single stalk. But suddenly, it started to bud branches.

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Riley's tree 2
Riley's tree 2

Slowly the little 'pup' began to grow.

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December 2012

Hi Riley,

It was so funny when Uncle Adam and I were trying to dig your small tree out of the front yard. One of Adam’s friends (Kate) was also trying to help us a)find an appropriate tree and b) get it out of the ground, as its roots were growing under a rock.

Love Mummy

 

 

January 2013

 

Hi Riley,

Mummy and Daddy have started to grow your tree in a pot. We gave you a pot for Christmas for your tree to grow in. So far even though we have only been doing it for a few weeks, there are lots of things to tell you about.

 

 

January 2013

Hi Riley,

Mummy planted your tree in the pot and Daddy has lovingly watered it. The tree was not doing so well because when we transported it, Uncle Ad and I had to cut some of the roots off. Uncle Ad suggested to cut all the branches and leaves off. The tree was just a stalk and we did not hold much hope. We continued watering it for a few weeks. Then we had the Australia Day weekend floods, where there was lots of rain. Just after, Mummy noticed your tree sprouting tiny branches. We are so happy. Your tree is a little fighter!

 

Meanwhile, Poppa John has been busily planting Jacaranda seeds in pots and his front yard, in the hope we will get one strong tree for you. (Just in case) 😉

 

Love Mummy and Daddy

 

The CREATION OF RILEY"S PLACE
The mess
The mess

This is what your Dad had to contend with to try and clear this area.

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Digging up the roots
Digging up the roots

So many tree roots. Wow your Dad worked hard to dig most of them out.

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Riley's area coming along
Riley's area coming along

Slowly beginning to see it take shape

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Lee (Riley's Dad)
Lee (Riley's Dad)

Pretty impressive Lee

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Laying the turf
Laying the turf

The turf has been laid

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Riley's tree is in
Riley's tree is in

Good work Lee! The tree is in.

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Beginnings of the fence
Beginnings of the fence

The fence has begun

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The fence
The fence

And after two days of hard work by Matthew Roberts and some help from Lee - the fence is in.

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Painting the fence
Painting the fence
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Beautification
Beautification

And now it's Kelly's turn. The planting and beautification of the space.

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February 2014

 

Hi Riley,

​We did it! We bought a house. Just in the nick of time too as your sibling will be arriving in about a month. We are so hopeful of welcoming your little brother or sister into our home and teaching them about you. Daddy is planning to create a landscaped area for your tree in the backyard. It will be beautiful.

Love Mummy

 

 

September 2014

Hi Riley,

​Oh my goodness. Your Dad has worked so hard to create your area. It took some blood sweat and tears to dig out some plants, trees and their roots.

Love Mummy and Daddy

 

ENJOYING 'RILEY"S PLACE 
Riley's Sign
Riley's Sign

This sign was created by a glass designer Catia White. She lovingly learnt of our story and symbolism and created this beautiful piece.

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Riley's Place
Riley's Place
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Birthday Party
Birthday Party

Riley's place is used for many family celebrations

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Garden ornament
Garden ornament

Riley's garden is updated each year with new garden ornaments.

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Our family
Our family
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Christmas Present
Christmas Present

Riley's Christmas present. What to buy for a four year old boy who lives in the garden?

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Sign
Sign

A little visitor on Riley's sign.

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Enjoying Rileys Place
Enjoying Rileys Place

Finn playing with Riley's robot

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Sculpture
Sculpture

This sculpture was an art project which took Kelly almost a year to complete.

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When the tree grows...
When the tree grows...

We have a swing to put up as soon as Riley's tree is big enough.

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Our family 2
Our family 2
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Riley's owl
Riley's owl

Enjoying the seat and the sunshine

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5th Birthday
5th Birthday

Balloons to celebrate Riley's 5th Birthday

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Purple the colour of choice
Purple the colour of choice
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The Frog
The Frog

Riley was nicknamed 'Kermie' when he was in the womb.

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Butterfly Release 2017
Butterfly Release 2017

Finn is delicately looking after this butterfly as it awakens.

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Amazement
Amazement

We are amazed by the butterflies

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Butterfly Release 2017
Butterfly Release 2017

Harper is watching intently

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November 2016

Dear Riley

As you can see since we created your place our family has enjoyed your space and included you in play and celebration.

Much Love Mum and Dad

July 2018

Dear Riley

Many afternoons you will catch us all including the dog, running, kicking, laughing and playing in your area. Finn and Harper love to help us water your garden. You are much loved and missed.

Love Mum and Dad