UNDER THE mango tree

Dan and I moved to the mid-north coast of NSW 14 years ago when we purchased an 810-square-metre block, home to an old fibro cottage and a magnificent mango tree. Over the years we have removed, planted, transplanted and replanted many trees and shrubs to create what is now a densely populated garden.

From the beginning we were blessed with good topsoil that has slowly been delivered to us from Big Brother Mountain, which sits directly behind us to the west. In summer, he protects us from the westerly heat and winds (our block faces east-west).

Over the years I have collected all my neighbours’ grass clippings, which would have been thrown into the bush, and redirected them to our garden as mulch. This, in turn, has built a couple of inches of new topsoil — and one can never have enough organic matter to

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