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Creating Kitchen Garden Markers

Many people find gardening relaxing, something that is good for their soul. Countless hours may be spent, digging and planting, turning the soil and weeding. But it seems to be a special talent to get things to grow, and much more to have them thrive. Recently, the trend seemed to be bigger houses with less lawn and less garden, and certainly for many that is still true. But for many others, there is a change happening- turning our backs on mass production, and fresh fruit and vegetables being bought at big retailers. Instead we see the popularity of farmers markets increase, and the concept of ‘farm fresh’ and ‘paddock to plate’ becoming more important to a large percentage of the community.

There is a lot to be said for understanding where food comes from. As old fashioned as it sounds, I believe it is of vital importance to bring your children up in the garden and in the kitchen too. That is where they will begin to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food and understand that the food they choose sustains them and helps them thrive also.

Image; Via Instagram

As a family, we longed for a patch of land where we could begin growing our own food,  as well as give the kids an everyday experience where they are encouraged to touch, feel and get dirty without concern. Oh, and what fun we have had since moving! 😄 So far our kitchen garden has provided literally kilos and kilos of zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, snow peas, corn cobs, cherry tomatoes, celery, chilies, rocket, and different lettuce varieties. We are also waiting on our crop of broccoli and silverbeet.

My husband certainly takes the reigns in the garden (as our resident horticulturist, I wouldn’t expect any less), but the vegie patch and the herb garden have somehow remained mine. Our herb garden has been thriving and we have had more than our fair share of mint, basil and parsley. We also have dill, lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, chives, purple basil.

Some may say it is because I am a control freak that I feel the need to label everything. My response is usually something to do with attempting to make things easier for others, you know so things can be put back in the correct spot or so that you know what is what. So after I had happily planted my seedlings I set about looking for some garden markers. Who knew anything nice was so expensive!!?? I really could not resolve the idea of just leaving the labels on or using those plastic white labels you can get from the hardware store so here are some of the ideas I found;

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Image; 5 Dollar Dinners
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Image; Pin and Paper
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Image; Best Friends for Frosting
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Image; Shrimps Salad Circus
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Image; Simple Details
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Image; Hardly Housewives
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Image; My Garden Your Garden

I found some raw wood spoons in a dollar store and took to them with my sharpies based on the above idea. I started just by roughly positioning the letters on the spoon in lead pencil. Then when I was happy, I penned them in and then added a greenery based design to each, unless it particularly called for colour.








Whether you are happy to buy some of what you need, or you want to make do with what you have around the house, any of these options make great additions to your garden. And it goes without saying that the kids love getting in and getting their hands dirty.

Fwf x





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Style Revival- Retro

‘Sooner or later, everything old is new again.’ – Stephen King

You only have to look around to see influences of days gone by and there are many terms that are used for describing design styles from our past; ‘Vintage’, ‘Retro’, ‘Antique’, ‘Mid- Century Modern’, and ‘Art Deco’. As a quick overview; When something is referred to as Antique, this generally means it is more than 100 years old. Vintage pieces are from the 20th century, however are not 100 years old, yet. Mid Century modern is a term than was coined in the 1950’s but covers furniture that was designed in period between 1930’s- 1960’s with functionality key. Art Deco generally refers to 1920-1930’s ornate styling. For many, the terms are confusing, but for the purpose of this piece, whilst much of the furniture that features tends to be mid century modern, we are looking at retro styling broadly. How can we incorporate design ideas anywhere from 1930’s onwards into our modern homes and really harness that decor with the help of fresh flowers and plants.

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Image via Instagram, Joybird Furniture

‘Retro’ is a pretty generalised term anyhow. It can pretty much cover any outdated furniture/pieces that have come back into favour for a multitude of reasons. Retro can be as personal as you wish it to be, and as kitsch! The term alone often conjours up images of psychedelic wallpaper and drapery for me, velour furniture, and just a bold use of colour.

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Image; Nous Decor

After WW1 and WW2, people wanted ‘modern’ furniture and homes that lacked the ostentatious finishes that up until then had been standard. The style instead focused on functionality with clean lines, soft curves and the use of a variety of materials (often within one piece to create contrast). You will see a lot of wood teamed with vinyl or leather, or plastic or metal features. Many replica pieces that are found currently feature the turned wood legs that were popular within this style, although it must be noted that the style utilised any and every other material they could, unapologetically and often uncovered (i.e plastic) which had not been done up until that time.

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Image; West Elm

What I love most about this broad theme is the fearlessness when it comes to colour.  Strong, bright and earthy tones featured, and while neutral colour palettes do exist within this style, and black and white is often used in geometric contrast, typical colours used in this decorating style are; Mustard, Blue, Olive, Burnt Orange, Teal, Red and Chocolate.

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Mid Century Sofa in Orange #Home #UrbanOutfittersEurope:
Image: Urban Outfitters

The easiest way to use fresh flowers and living plants in this style is by incorporating some sort of plant stand. Turned wood plant stands are incredibly popular and easily sourced at the moment, as are macrame plant hangers. Both perfect examples of retro styling.

Ferns are ideal for hanging baskets if your preference is for something pendulous. Mother in laws tongue, a popular and easy to care fleshy plant often fits well in this style. They require little water and look ‘modern’. Some ceramic vessels or glass vases will sit well in these plant stands and provide an interesting way to display cut fresh flowers too. Try Philodendron or Monsteria Leaves in a vase for simplicity OR, try using vibrant coloured macrame teamed with a vase of contrasting coloured fresh flowers- think Orange, Blue, or Mustard.


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Image; This Little Street featuring a Case Study pot and plant stand via Modernica
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Image: The Jungalow

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Have fun!

Fwf x




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Planting the Pea

Did you know that traditionally Sweet Peas are planted on St Patrick’s Day? No? Me neither, that is until last week. After more than 15 years in the industry I’m not quite sure how I missed this curious fact, but I did, and it just goes to show you can learn something new each and every day. Interestingly,  St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a pea-planting time throughout the world, but in areas such as New York and New Jersey it is usually the green variety, no doubt because of the difference in climates.

Rather than listen to the Vatican’s recommendations for successful sowing, take it from the experts instead (that is, Horticulturists) who suggest that with careful planning you could see Aussie sweet peas flowering for up to 9 months of the year!! Short day varieties will need to be planted in March, May, September and December, and long day varieties in March, September and November, about 3cm deep, and 7cm apart. Once the seedlings have 4 sets of leaves, pinch the tip off the plant- this will encourage the plant to continue shooting, creating a fuller display.


Sweet peas, (Lathyrus odoratus) which are part of the legume family, need plenty of sunlight (at least 6 hours) and soil that drains well. They also require a fair amount of support, in the form of a trellis, obelisk or tee pee. The tendrils grip on more delicate surfaces, so sometimes you may use a wire mesh/net for easy grip. Once the tendril reaches the base of the support it will quickly progress vertically with little or no effort on your part. In warmer climates, you should plant the peas where they will enjoy morning sun, which tends to be less intense. Peas are prone to mildew, so like a well ventilated spot, with moist (but not soggy) soil. It is important to keep the soil consistent, so avoid over watering after periods where you have left them overly dry (and vice versa).




Truth be told, planting Sweet Peas in mid March is probably not the best time in order to see success in Australia, it’s probably still a touch warm. April and May are perfectly good times to sow your seeds. Try soaking your seeds for 24 hours in water before planting, and then, using a nail file, nick the seeds at the side to encourage the plant to sprout more quickly. Choose a site with good drainage, with alkaline soil, and where the sweet peas will have access to sunlight to dance in. If the soil tends to be acidic, sprinkle some powdered lime on the surface.

Some believe that although Sweet peas are not particularly difficult to grow, some people just have the knack and others do not. The trickiest bit is the germination process. Sweet peas are generally slow to germinate, taking between 7 to 15 days depending on the soil temperature….but as the saying goes, Good things come to those who wait. And oh, how totally divine they are. Peas have an unmistakable sweet fragrance that transports you to another time and place. They have their place firmly in cottage gardens, but will also provide a (pretty) and welcome change to the tomatoes growing on your trellis. Take a punt, and give it a go….maybe not on Friday, but at least mark it on the calendar for things to do in the coming months! 😜

Fwf x


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Style Revival- Coastal

The Coastal look has always been a popular choice for holiday homes but the style has recently seen a rise in its popularity, making it’s way into firmly mainstream decorating as well. It is perhaps not so much a revival (as my title suggests) as a re-appropriation.

In general, Coastal decorating sets to highlight the lifestyle and luxury of beach side living.  Think soft linen furnishings, lime washed or chalk painted furniture pieces, hessian, sisal and jute, recycled glassware, driftwood, shells, candles and ALOT of distressed wood!

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Image; Sand and Sisal


Get the look;

If you want to add touches of this theme to your current decor, it is usually pretty simple, provided you have a fairly neutral base. By choosing your key furniture pieces in neutral tones, you can quickly and easily alter you theme to breathe fresh air into your living spaces. What do they say…. a change is as good as a holiday-  it’s never truer than with this theme; by adding some coastal elements to your home, you might just feel like you have had a short sojourn somewhere exotic.

The easiest way to change a room is by changing your soft furnishings; cushions and lamp shades for a living room for example, or Manchester for your bedroom.

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Image; Design Seeds


Undoubtedly this style features a variety of blues tones paired with white, sometimes with greys, beige or aqua/turqoise highlights.  The result is light and airy, fresh and calm.

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Image; Better Homes and Gardens
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Image; Alexandra Rae Design via Homebunch
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Image; Better Homes and Gardens

How to Use flowers or plants;

Plants are generally pretty undervalued, but they are a favourite in my house, because there is nothing I hate more than cleaning vase water….even after 15 years of floristry (or perhaps especially so). I love this simple idea of planting succulents in a shell home. Succulents do require good drainage so consider a charcoal based potting mix.

To continue with the coastal theme it makes sense to feature tropical foliage such as Ferns, Monsteria, or Anthurium leaves alone in a vase, or with simple white or soft blue flowers; the leafy greens will make the room feel fresh and bright and will not detract from the other elements within. You could use scented Oriental lilies, Hydrangea, Gardenias, Peonies or Roses to add a softness to the room. Despite the theme being coastal, interestingly, it rarely utilises tropical flowers such as Anthuriums or Heliconias, largely because of the basic colour palette, but also as tropical flowers tend to have a more plastic-like texture, and lack the softness and luxury of the more feminine blooms that are favoured.

You could also consider simple decorating ideas such as floating flower heads in a bowl, which is easy for even the least creative person. Lilies are a great choice for this, or Frangipanis are also perfect (but are only available through the warmer months)

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Image; Indulgy
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Image: Hello Gem via Yellow 108


Many plain items can be upcycled to easily match this theme- think about adding rope to a basic glass vase, white washing tired wooden furniture, adding sand, shells and starfish to transparent vessels, add a piece of driftwood to your sideboard (and if you are game, create your own air plant and succulent garden in it)

As with any style, Coastal isn’t going to be for everyone, and some homes will not be easily transformed into an Oceanic Oasis. BUT if light and bright, soft and airy is for you- Coastal Chic may be just what you are looking for….

Fwf x




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You Sexy Thang

Unbelievable as it is, we have already got through two full months of the New Year. And as we enter March, we start the month off with the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

Amidst the sequins, the costumes, the hair extensions and the amazing floats, people are coming together to “Create Equality” which is this year’s theme. Whilst Mardi Gras showcases diversity and difference, it is the ideal time to shine the light on areas where equality is still lacking. And let’s face it, inequality reaches far beyond the Gay and Lesbian communities in our current climate. Equality is defined as; the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities. As always, this year is set to be a dazzling production; a flamboyant and creative display of pride, self expression and equality.

Ellen Page from Juno has said; “This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.” And couldn’t it be just as simple as that? I have personally always taken the stance that you probably want to know about what I do in the bedroom as much as I want to know what you do. Private lives are just that, private. What we choose to do, and who we love is our business, and only ours.

Did you know that flowers have been used in art for years to represent sexuality? I mean it makes sense that like all things in nature- they are what they are, and it is not for us to determine whether it is right or, wrong weird or normal.  Interestingly enough many flowers are hermaphrodites – most have both pistils and stamens (both male and female sex organs) – and therefore they have a particular symbolic appeal in art. Flowers opening to full bloom can be used to represent sexual awakening, especially in relation to women’s sexuality as they are not unlike the appearance of female genitalia.

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Georgia O’Keefe is seen as creating some of the most sexually charged images
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Image; Simon and Schuster
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Image; Pijama Surf
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Image; LA Weekly

Similarly there are several blooms that are particularly phallic and ‘male’. Blooms such as Candlestick Banksias, Anthuriums, Cactus and many forms of lilies are indisputably masculine in form. The plants have dominant protrusions that are erect.

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Image; Erotic Nature
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Image; P Base
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Image; ZME Science

For many of us, we will not be attending the parade this weekend- word is it is at capacity already. So if you cannot show your support lining the streets of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian district, why not be there in spirit by filling a vase of some of the sexiest plants on offer?! If nothing else, it will probably provide a novel change to what you usually choose to fill your vase with 😉 Alternatively, as the Rainbow coloured flag has long been a symbol of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender pride so you could also choose to celebrate and support the community with a vaseful of Rainbow roses.

“It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It’s like disapproving of rain.” — Francis Maude

Fwf x

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