ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Frangipane Tree in the Garden

Updated on January 31, 2015
Frangipane blooms
Frangipane blooms | Source
The reclining tree -a shadow of its former self
The reclining tree -a shadow of its former self | Source
A Laughing Dove looks for food.
A Laughing Dove looks for food. | Source
A Crowned Hornbill comes to visit
A Crowned Hornbill comes to visit | Source
Human flowers adorn the branches
Human flowers adorn the branches | Source

The ongoing cycle of life

The Frangipane Tree in our garden.

About 40 years ago this beautiful flowering tree stood tall and proud outside our house in East London. Every summer it produced fragrant white flowers at the end of its green leaf covered branches. The birds loved to visit and perch on the branches. To feed on the insects that lived on the bark of the tree. At night moths pollinated the flowers. Our children climbed into the tree to explore and have a photo taken. Yes, its branches were not very strong and so when too much weight was applied they broke, but no-one was injured and it provided shade and entertainment as well as beauty to our back garden.

The Frangipane is a flowering tree from the tropical areas in America and provides scent for the manufacturing of perfume. It comes in a variety of colours and does well in our sub-tropical area. Ours provides white flowers with just a tinge of yellow. In Hawaii women often wear the flowers in their hair. The side that they wear the flowers on indicates if they are married or not.

Then disaster stuck. During torrential rains the soil turned into a muddy morass and the wind blew the tree over. There were some tears as this tree was so much a part of the scenery. At the same time while this tree was now lying on its side some of its roots still remained in the ground and so rather than remove the tree we decided to wait and see. Eventually we developed a flower bed around the exposed roots and the tree continued to blossom and grow even in its semi-reclining position. It gave support to one side of our clothes line and we used it to hang a birdfeeder from its branches. A new generation of children climbed in and hung from its branches, and birds still searched for food or just perched there.

Last year the Frangipane started to die. Some kind of fungal disease started to attack our beloved tree. A visit to the local nursery for advice provided a spray to rescue the tree but did not help. About half of the tree was cut away and removed to the local garden refuge dump. This year it seemed to be recovering and the blossoms looked healthy at first. Then the dreaded fungi attacked again and it looks like the Frangipane is now on its last legs. A new diagnosis and spray is not helping and it seems as if the illness is terminal. Our old friend is no longer going to be around much longer and will be relegated to memories and fading photographs in our family album.

Life is much like this. As we grow strong in the early years we are able to supply the world with some value. Like the sweet smelling aroma from the Frangipane flowers, we have the potential to make the world a better place. We provide support for others and even some joy and adventure. Nothing seems to be capable of destroying our strength and power. Yes, as the storms of life blow we sometimes have to bow and bend. When the storm has passed we shake off the damage as best we can and stand tall again and move forward.

At times we, like the tree in our garden, may even fall over but if our roots are strong we will remain, if only for a while. The cycle of life however must continue and as a tree eventually returns to supply nutrients for new growth we too have to move on. As humans we face the diseases that bring an end to life. Heart attacks and cancer threaten to destroy that which at one stage seemed to be indestructible. The leaves wilt and the flowers fall to the ground. The body can no longer support the weight of expectation of self and others. The medical solutions come and go and extend the time of living, but then like the Frangipane tree we finally have to say goodbye.

The place where we lived, grew and produced, is filled by new life with different flowers and aromas. What we did is also relegated to the land of memories in the hearts and minds of loved ones and fading photos in the same album as out tree. It is time to plant a new tree in our garden with hope and faith that it will provide beauty and support to future generations, and perhaps a branch to tie our new washing line on to.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks Eric you are a star!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just fantastic. What a wonderful job of seeing and relating to our life the life of your friend the tree. This article was a true pleasure to read and enjoy.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)