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Pet Plants for Christmas

Christmas can be a time for giving handmade gifts, crafted with love. It can be a time for exchanging fun, gimmick gifts. Sometimes it can also be an occasion overrun with extravagance and consumerism. And sadly, it can also be a time that people give thoughtless gifts; gifts that require much, much more from the recipient than perhaps they had bargained for.

Do you remember the campaign “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”? It was one of the most successful slogans in the world of animal welfare, because it is so true. Giving a pet as a present is a pretty big call. Sure, you may really think they want one but pets are extremely expensive, require adjusting your lifestyle, and taking on additional responsibilities. ALOT of additional responsibilities.

this puppy was awaiting a new home. Gloria, was one of 126,673 animals the RSPCA received in their 39 shelters across the country in 2012/13.
this puppy was awaiting a new home. Gloria, was one of 126,673 animals the RSPCA received in their 39 shelters across the country in 2012/13.

According to the RSPCA, last year alone, they accepted 130,000 animals from the community, which is incredibly sad.  And would it surprise you to know that the biggest reason given for relinquishing an animal is behavioural problems, which is often the result of a lack of triaining and a lack of exercise.

Choosing a pet is an incredibly involved decision, that takes a lot of time and consideration. It is a very personal decision that is best left to the person who will be left cleaning up the mess and wearing the costs. And the problem with getting an adorable baby animal is that they don’t stay that way forever. The reality is that when someone gifts you an animal, it is pretty unlikely that they’re turning up with a geriatric cross from the pound. So while the pounds continue to fill up with unwanted animals, the puppy farms continue to supply a steady stream of designer breeds.

Pet plants are our newest addition

Now, it probably comes as no surprise that Florist with Flowers do not specialise in cute and cuddly animals, BUT what we do specialise in is gorgeous, quirky giftware. Our newest additions are the only kind of animal you should buy and thoughtfully give away! These gorgeous ceramic pots come in a variety of animal shapes; elephants, llamas and even flamingoes, and they include a hardy, low maintenance plant. Too easy! You won’t find these babies online though, so pop in-store to browse our selection and pick the right pet for you.

The baby elephants are super cute and available in various colours

If however, you are looking for a gift to send to someone special this Christmas, our festive season range is available online now. Check it out here.

Merry Yuletide is a bright and festive bouquet of fresh flowers

Given Christmas time is such a frantic time of year, Florist with Flowers is able to organise fresh flower gifts, gift hampers that include fruit, chocolate and something to wash it all down with, and more. Talk to one of our friendly staff about any special requirements you may have.

Only 19 days to go!

Fwf x

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Christmas Tree alternatives

Christmas Tree Concepts that will Floor You!

Well, there is no denying it, The Christmas countdown is certainly on, with less than 4 weeks to go.

Our home probably looks like many others at this stage. I have located most of my Christmas gear in boxes from the garage, but there is something inside me that prevents me decorating until December 1st. And let’s face it, there is a list a mile long of things to organise at this time of year: cards to post, letters to Santa to write, shopping lists to write, menus to plan, gifts to buy, and wrap!

To make things a little easier for you Florist with Flowers has a gorgeous range of fresh flower gifts, plants and hampers on offer this year. If you are yet to check gifts off your list perhaps for someone who is a little hard-to-buy for, check out our Christmas range here.

Last week’s blog featured some creative Christmas trees ideal for smaller spaces, and little hands, but this week we are sharing with you some inspirational floor standing trees.  Again, these are not your traditional Christmas tree, so they may suit some homes and family personalities more than others. What I like most is how creative people are. I love how people reuse, recycle, and upcycle. I love how the focus is on repurposing, and rethinking materials that you already have. And lastly, I love how these options rarely use plastic components, so they make our planet happy too.

Cardboard Box Tree

I’ve turned cardboard boxes into cubby house and trains in my time, but so far, I haven’t made them into a Christmas tree. For young families, this floor standing Christmas tree can be bright and festive, AND manages to avoid the irresistible tendrils of tinsel and the inevitably bouncing baubles too! It is a great Christmas activity to enjoy together; firstly designing the trees decorations and then carefully painting it all. You can find step by step instructions here.

Cardboard Christmas Tree
Source: Makedo Cardboard Christmas Tree

Brown Paper Christmas Tree

I personally like the tone of brown paper and/or cardboard, so I would probably opt just to paint simple decorations on the cardboard tree and leave the base natural. This brown Paper Christmas Tree is another alternative, and again, the decoration can be as simple or as tizzy as you like. Interested in recreating this look by Craft a la Mode, click here for a full tutorial.

Brown Paper Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree alternatives
Source: Crafts a la Mode

Teepee Tree

I love the idea of creating a simple teepee with bamboo poles, or another appropriate stick. For an Australiana theme to Christmas, decorate the tree with garlands made from pretty eucalyptus leaves, which have a gorgeous scent and will dry nicely in the heat of our summer. This option can be decorated with traditional tinsel and lights too of course, but I think that half the appeal is in its simplicity. Less is more!

Christmas Tree alternatives. Teepee tree

Ladder Christmas Tree

Everyone has an old wooden ladder hanging around right? So what about using it as a centrepiece for Christmas one year? This particular look would fit right into a converted warehouse space, or a home with a rustic or industrial feel. While researching for this piece I found many unique versions of the ladder tree: some with a bazillion balls suspended underneath, some with planks of wood placed across each rung, to create shelving, but this one, with the large hanging paper decorations is by far, my favourite.

Ladder Christmas tree. Christmas Tree alternatives

Whilst the Christmas countdown has begun, there is still plenty of time to organise gifts and decorations. Browse our gift ideas online, or give us a call in store if we can help design something special this year.

Fwf x

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Christmas ideas for something a bit different

Flat Christmas Tree Displays When Ordinary Won’t Do

I don’t know about you, but at my particular stage of life, a traditional Christmas tree just doesn’t work. Last year I optimistically took a picture of my two eldest, proudly sitting in front of our hanging wooden slat tree, which they had just finished decorating. The caption below excitedly announced “Our last Christmas with a non-traditional Christmas tree”. What a laugh. 🎄🎄🎄

Firstly, I think I had forgotten what a two year old was like….add to that the fact that I grossly underestimated the difference between girls and boys. So it seems I have just a little over a week to decide what my alternative to a Christmas tree is going to look like this year. Can you believe that December is almost here? It’s crazy to think that the festive season is really upon us, and if you are looking at getting organised already, you can check out our Christmas range now 🎄 🎄🎄

There are a bazillion ideas out there for people looking for something a little different. The result will largely depend on whether you want to use things you already have lying around at home, or whether you are happy to buy some supplies.

Wall hanging trees are fabulously out of the reach for little hands, and are also a great alternative for you if you haven’t a lot of space. Ready to buy flat felt Christmas trees are available at several retailers,  however I like how unique and creative these alternatives are.

🎄Honeycomb Christmas Tree🎄

This version of the honeycomb tree is very bright and festive in a non traditional way, however you can imagine how fabulous it would look in traditional red, white and green, or any colour theme really! The honeycombs can be picked up from Kmart, and most dollar shops inexpensively, and can be adhered with blu-tac.

Honeycomb Christmas Tree
Source: Studio DIY

🎄String Light/Tinsel Christmas Tree🎄

Whether you choose to use just string lights, string lights and decorations or add tinsel as well, this concept is incredibly simple and easy to erect. You will need removeable hooks ( preferably the 3M ones) which you can easily take off the walls without damage. And my biggest tip? Adhere the hooks facing outwards so it is easier to wind the string through them firmly.

String light and tinsel wall tree
Source: Home Decoration Articles

🎄String Christmas Tree🎄

I looooove this one. How effective does it look!!?? And, by using a couple of different coloured strings you could make it even more festive. You could also tie in the colour theme you are using for your decorations or you could peg your cards to the string instead. If you like the idea, a full tutorial is available at My Poppet.

Source: My Poppet

🎄Memory/Milestone Christmas Collage🎄

Choosing one of these Christmas Tree alternatives is often due to having small children, and this tree is a wonderful way to appreciate the passage of time, and all the big moments that have passed during the year. These days we so often rely on the digital copies, but seeing it all before your eyes is a beautiful way to share these moments with friends and family who may have missed many of them.

This would also be a fabulous way to showcase some of your favourite moments after returning from an overseas adventure and also a lovely way to display moments captured in time with loved ones who may have passed.

Photo wall Christmas tree
Source: Printiki

Photo Frame Upcycle Tree

I love this one because I’m sure I’m not the only person In the world who retires photo frames to a dusty old drawer. Give them a coat of paint, and a new lease on life. Voila! Putting pictures in them is absolutely not necessary, but if you chose to, it could be done of course. Alternatively fill them with festive sayings.

Frame Christmas tree, an alternative to the traditional
Source: Organised Clutter

Half the fun of the festive season is the decorating so next week I’ll share with you some fabulous floor standing alternatives to your traditional Christmas tree. They will also give you the opportunity to personalise and customise your displays to suit your home and decor. 🎄🎄🎄

Fwf x

 

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House Proud Plants

There are certainly popular house plants. They are the same plants that people have been adorning their homes with for years, and probably will continue to, for years to come. Plants such as Spathyfilium (Peace Lily), Maiden Hair Ferns, Cyclamen and African Violets.  But if you like to do things a little different, here is a list of some other plants you can try which are exquisite to look at, and will provide the gorgeous green foliage that you desire. The benefit of decorating with house plants is that they last longer than cut flowers, whilst still bringing life indoors.

Cyclamen plants have pretty flowers and dainty foliage
Cyclamen plant

A few years ago, Fiddle Leaf figs became extremely popular and continue to decorate homes everywhere. They have a rich dark green glossy leaf in the shape of a fiddle, hence their name. They tolerate low light conditions so are great for indoors, but are equally happy planted outside.

Fiddle leaf figs are popular house plants
Source: Pinterest via City Mouse

Monsteria leaves and Philodendron leaves are both popular choices of green house plants with their luscious leaves. They are also popular cut foliages, lasting for weeks in fresh water. Devils Ivy, is often confused for a Philodendron, but is not the same. It is also sometimes known as the ‘Money Plant’.

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Devil’s Ivy grows well in vases in water as well as in pots in soil.

Devils Ivy is an attractive, leafy plant. And whilst the pot plant has always been popular, given that Devil’s Ivy can grow easily from cuttings, it is becoming extremely popular to display in vases. Simply snip the plants tendrils and place them in fresh water. These cuttings will continue to grow and flourish. Be sure to change the water regularly, however you do not need to recut the stems as you would with fresh flowers as you will notice that roots start to sprout.

Zanzibar Gem plants are low maintenance, ever green plants perfect for indoors
Zanzibar Gem are low maintenance plants

If you like an ever green house plant Zanzibars are a fabulous choice. These plants are extremely low maintenance only requiring monthly watering, and tolerating low light positions too. It isn’t particularly dense, but the leaves always look extremely lush and turgid.

Rhapis palms, also known as the lady finger palm, have been a popular cut foliage for florists for many years,  but they also make a great house plant. If you like a variation in the colours of the leaves, get your hands on the verigated rhaphis which has a beautiful, yet subtle stripe to the leaf with lime highlights.

Dracena Deremensis Compacta are a slow growing ever green plant which is perfect for indoors
Dracena Deremensis Compacta are a slow growing ever green plant which is perfect for indoors. Source: Jardineria On

A personal favourite is the Dracena deremensis Compacta. It is a dense head of short glossy leaves; favouring low light conditions, and extremely slow growing.

Apart from the aesthetic beauty indoor plants bring into your home,  we have known for some time that being surrounded by nature has health benefits too. NASA’s first Clean Air study was published in 1989, and both the Rhapis and Devil’s Ivy are featured on their list of air quality improving plants 🌱 🌱 👍🏻👍🏻  So whether you are looking at buying something for your own home, or for a gift for someone special, think about choosing a unique house plant.

Fwf x

 

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Paper Flower Maker Makes Her Mark on the Industry

As a florist, it goes without saying that I find natural, fresh cut flowers absolutely beautiful. Nature creates the most exquisite intricacies in each flower petal, so that each bloom is stunningly unique. These are the details that we look to exploit when we put an arrangement together; we look at the minute differences and play around with the variations in colour and texture to build an arrangement that is eye catching and exquisite.

Often, our clients also have a vision when they walk through our doors. Perhaps they have a particular bloom in mind, or a specific colour. It is made all the more important when this detail is central to a theme for a party or event….so what is a florist to do if what the client wants is just not available?

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Cetti’s garden roses Picture Credit: The Green Vase

“There is a place for faux flowers today,” says Whitney Robinson, editor in chief of Elle Decor. “They are essentially copies of what you would buy fresh…not everyone has the time or budget to be able to buy fresh consistently. We are entering a new era in faux flowers as well, toward a new generation of paper flowers that takes the artistry to the next level.”

Coleus blooms and foliage are crafted from paper
Cetti creates individual Coleus pieces with gorgeous foliage Picture Credit; The Green Vase

It seems that with our busy lifestyles today, consumers are looking for a way to decorate their homes/offices or events without the maintenance that fresh flowers require. In the last few years many florists and homewares stores have begun stocking larger quantities of faux flowers to keep up with demand. With modern materials and more realistic production, these faux flowers are a very suitable alternative to the real deal. Sure, they do require some dusting and fluffing but they make sense for many spaces.

Some people will still turn their noses up….that is unavoidable, and sure, there are some blooms that look better and more realistic than others, the key is making the right choice for your space. And believe it or not, it is not only the humble working class that are embracing these no fuss, floral alternatives, faux flowers have got some real street cred.

Paper anenomes handmade by Livia Cetti
Handmade paper anenomes by Livia Cetti.
Hibiscus flowers are fragile, so these paper versions are a great alternative for arrangements
Gorgeous paper hibiscus created by Cetti. Michelle Obama used these in arrangements for a Korean State dinner at the White House. Picture Credit; The Green Vase

When Michelle Obama, the then First Lady had tables adorned with hibiscus envisioned for a Korean State dinner, artist Livia Cetti set upon designing exquisite handmade paper ones as the fresh version was far too fragile to be up for the task at the White House. In fact, paper flowers are moonlighting at some of the best addresses, and are being accepted by decorators, designers and influencers around the world. Cetti, once a stylist for Martha Stewart has now written two how-to books on paper flowers. She supplies her paper flowers to some of the high end shops in New York and sells them on her website, with prices starting from $35 per stem (some are priced at $200 a piece!) “People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”

Fwf x

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Eco Chic- Natural Materials Making Responsible Products

We all seem to be developing more of a social conscience, or at least that is the way it seems. Products are popping up everywhere claiming to be more environmentally friendly, using renewable resources, and providing various new business opportunities.

As the first world gets richer though, it is encouraging to see that some of the wealth and opportunities are trickling down, utilising resources that can be found in some of the poorest regions of the world.

Did you know many products that we use in a commercial florist are sourced internationally these days? In some ways this is sad as money is going off shore, however it is largely due to the cost of wages in Australia. The truth is, if we were to grow them here, the price would probably end up so high, no one would buy them. Buying from overseas is also influenced by the difference in climate; what they are able to grow, that perhaps we can’t. Most of our  orchids, anthuriums and tropical foliage (like cordyline or palm leaves) comes from South Eastern Asian countries and Mauritius.

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Image; Monkey ladder vine via Project Noah
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Image; Kiwi Vine via Dried Decor
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Image; Bamboo via Better Homes and Gardens

We use several types of vines and canes in floristry, but some of these natural materials also make fantastic decor, and due to the nature in which they grow, they make eco-friendly choices.

Rattan is closely related to the palm plants, and considered a liana (or vine) rather than a true wood. As it is a climber, it’s texture is flexible and malleable, whilst still incredibly strong, making it an ideal material to weave furniture from. It is a rapid grower, with the ability to grow up to 30 metres tall however does not have the strength to grow alone, instead using the structure of other neighbouring plants to hold onto in order to reach higher. Rattan is generally confined to South East Asia, with 70% of the world’s rattan throughout Indonesia. The rest is sprinkled throughout the Phillipines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Given that rattan is grown throughout some of the poorest regions of the world, it is able to provide a sustainable income to those who need it most.

Rattan grows in between other trees in forests, and as a result, those forests have since been protected from logging to allow the rattan to be grown. It also grows in floodplains which were otherwise unused, which in turn encourages animals to create habitats, and increase animal populations.

Rattan is solid, and therefore incredibly strong, in fact it is almost impossible to break. Bamboo on the other hand, is hollow, but it is still incredibly strong. Ever been to a third world country and witnessed the construction of a new building? Bamboo scaffolding is still used today.

Bamboo is hard and straight making it harder to manipulate. Generally pieces are placed parallel to each other, and the design of the furniture usually tend to be more simplistic.

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Image; Cane furniture is durable and stylish via Naturally cane
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Image via Grand in Road
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Image; Vintage Rattan Furniture via TEDXUMKC

Bamboo is another rapidly growing material that is being utilised in furniture design and other decorator items. Both rattan and bamboo are fast growing tropical plants, making them an ideal income source for those populating the developing countries in which they grow. Often bamboo and rattan are used together in furniture; making the framework from bamboo and utilising the flexible rattan pieces around the joins of the hard straight bamboo pieces.

Many of the furniture styles that were favoured in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s are making a comeback. This is largely because the furniture is durable, eco-friendly, light weight and attractive.Despite being able to create plastic furniture, the trend to make more eco-friendly choices is catching as we strive to reduce the amount of landfill and live more sustainably.

 Fwf x

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Vegetation Levitation

Everyone these days is on the look for something new, something fresh, something different. We want everyone to want what we want- almost as if their reassurance will tell us we are on the right track. Everything about today is geared towards standing out, and gaining approval- that is the way social media appears to be working right?

So in a world that is forever trying to come up with the next big idea, design concepts like this one, are sure to impress.

A simple vase of fresh cut flowers certainly is beautiful and an attractive pot with a lush green plant will definitely help bring the outdoors inside but we have all seen that before.

Have you seen this innovative design that I stumbled upon? We all know how magnets work; opposites are attracted to one another, and therefore pull most strongly together. And poles of the same origin will repel. Magnets and magnetic force is almost like some special type of magic- stuck together like glue, or repelled. Well, this concept has been utilised to create a unique plant concept, whereby the planter hovers over the decorative base via magnetic levitation. The plant is gently rotated to expose the plant to sunlight, which is essential for the plants survival.

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Image; Spoon Tamago
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Image; Kickstarter
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Image; Spoon Tamago
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Image; Kickstarter

There are a few companies offering variations of the concept which begun crowd funding a few years ago via kickstarter. Bases are available in modern chrome finishes as well as lovely rich oak, or bases covered in pieces of wood that have a more rustic finish. Air plants such as the Tillandsia do particularly well as they are able to absorb the nutrients from the atmosphere. The rotating action allows the plant to be evenly exposed to sunlight.

Bonsai plants are another option on offer, as are some palm varieties. Initially, D.I.Y kits were also available so essentially you could plant whatever you like. The ‘little star’ plant base as it is called, is made of a unique super absorbent sponge like material which holds water so the plant does not dry out. With time the plants roots will fully anchor themselves to this base, making it stable and secure. The decorative base that sits on your table/counter etc does require power.

It’s a pretty futuristic concept, and certainly something that would look out of place in my home- but how cool is it!? It’s a gorgeous idea for minimalist homes, a fantastic house warming gift, or a gift for someone who has just about everything.

But if it’s not for you, you can still stick to a gorgeous fresh flower arrangement presented in any vessel you choose, and guess what, it won’t require power either.

Fwf x

Feature image via Wallhaven

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Quick Stick Decorating

Winter is a time to spend a little more time cosied up on the couch, or near the fire, so it makes great sense that we create an internal space that makes our hearts and soul sing.  The cooler temperatures mean that we are less social spending more time in our own homes, so it is nice to spend some of our energy doing some simple decorating. It is easy to stick your tried and tested methods of decorating, adding an indoor plant or a vase of cut fresh flowers, but winter offers up some interesting and long lasting alternatives to your regular fresh cut flowers or indoor plants.

Disiduous branches and sticks are a fantastic way of filling a vase for weeks at a time. Depending on what you choose you may or may not need to add water to the vase- and for someone like me who hates cleaning dirty vases of stinky water, this spells H-E-A-V-E-N! Some sticks, such as magnolia branches or cherry blossom for example will flower and bloom and will require a vaseful of fresh water, but believe me, the floral display is certainly worth the effort! Other branches are sold more for their architectural qualities and are striking in a vase en masse. In this case, you can choose to display them in a vessel without water. Any sticks that are displayed this way will become more brittle with time but in general, their appearance changes very little. As the branches become more brittle, it is advisable that they are not moved often, as you will see the branches breaking and becoming damaged.

So what can you get your hands on in the coming months? Well, consider these;

Budded magnolia branches are divine! The naked branches are shapely and interesting alone, but for a matter of weeks you can enjoy the pretty blooms in soft cream, mauve and pink tones. When the blooms are spent, simply pinch them off the stem, and enjoy the naked branches.

 

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Image via Pinterest

Lichen covered sticks are super interesting to look at;they look a bit moody and mysterious. The leafless branches are covered in silvery green flakes that resemble peeling paint. The branches bring a certain woodland vibe,  and the natural beauty of the forest.

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Image: Etsy

Dogwood is stunning throughout winter, with its reddish, golden glow. It is so different to the other sticks available with its vibrant colour, and adds visual warmth to a room or an arrangement.

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Pussy willow have furry buds called catkins along the length of their stems. Before they come into full flower, they are covered in a fine, grey fur, which leads to the comparison to ‘pussies’ or small cats.

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Image: The Spruce

 

Tortured Willow is a unique tree that is also known as curly willow, twisted willow or corkscrew willows due to its wiggly stems. It is a plant native to Korea and North Eastern China that was introduced to Australia for ornamental purposes, but when left, it invades riverbanks and creeks. All species of willow are considered weeds due to their invasive nature, as they have aggressive root systems that cause damage to footpaths and drains.  However as a cut material, it looks beautiful in its simplicity. Tortured willow does not require water, however if left dry, it will also become brittle, and break easily. If it is placed in water, the tortured willow will remain malleable, easily manipulated into different shapes- making it ideal for creating sculptures and wreaths. It will also quickly develop roots in water, so can be planted again.

An abstract composition of a twisted willow tree
Image; Texas Tree Trimmers

 

Fruit tree Blossom are always popular, particularly cherry blossom, but there are many more fruit tree blossoms available such as peach blossom and apple blossom.

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Image; Apple Blossom by Pixabay

So, instead of sticking to what you know, give something different a go.

Fwf x

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The Long Weekend DIY List

There is nothing like a long weekend to inspire a long list of DIY projects, am I right? I personally decided to take on a cosmetic lift on our ensuite. Full of enthusiasm, I removed plastic accessories that were the height of fashion back in the late 90s when they were originally installed, gave it a lick of paint, and replaced the handles on the vanity to bring it into today.

With 4 full days off, many people seem to have the same idea, and get inspired to tackle projects around the home that they just can’t seem to find time for ordinarily. Maybe it is getting into the garden, or spring (autumn) cleaning, maybe you decide to reorganise the furniture. Whatever the case, a long weekend, gives you an opportunity to concentrate on the task at hand with less distraction.

Here are 5 DIY projects you could set your mind to this weekend that will add atmosphere, relaxation and entertainment to your home.

1. Vegie Garden

If you want to get a head start on your garden this weekend, this is certainly the way to go. Did you know that some vegetables can regrow from a small scrap? YEP! OMG, talk about a game changer. Not only will this give you a head start, it is cheap too. Buy your vegies once, and regrow them for a lifetime.  The best method is to place the scrap in a small amount of water for the growth to begin, but once it gets going, it should be transplanted into the earth for full growth. This can be done with many of the common vegetables and herbs you will have in  your home such as celery, lettuce varieties, cabbage, lemon grass, green spring onions, leeks, garlic chives, buk choy and fennel. For me, this makes incredible sense particularly for celery and lettuce. I find that I tend to cook more casserole/stew style meals for the family in the cooler months, and often the base of the sauce starts with celery. But I honestly find it hard to warrant buying a bunch of celery, when all I really need is one stalk.

Celery stalks should be trimmed them placed in a shallow bowl or saucer of water. And miraculously, new growth will begin to sprout from the centre. A similar technique can be used with lettuce; Cos Lettuce works particularly well with this technique. After the plants begin sprouting you can plant them in your garden and be well on your way to harvest!

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Image; Google

2. Create your own Budget Firepit

Firepits seem to be the latest rage- and they are not cheap to buy. But creating your own budget version can be fun and rewarding. When the lights are low, and the fires burning, it ain’t really going to matter if you took out a small loan for your firepit, or made it with your own two hands. For the full tutorial head to A Beautiful Mess.

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Image; A Beautiful Mess

3. Bird Feeder

Attracting bird life requires very little effort but can be interesting and rewarding.  Each and every home potentially will attract its own unique birdlife. This cute teacup bird feeder is utterly charming and can be customised by choosing a colour concept that will suit your home, or better yet, put those odds and sods to better use!

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Image via Bite Sized Biggie

4. Create a Succulent Ball

Drought resistant plants are generally easier to care for, so this succulent ball makes a great project for just about anyone. They can spruce up an indoor or outdoor empty space, suspended from the ceiling. Try pairing 2 together at different heights for some added interest, or if space allows it try a cluster of three in different sizes.

By choosing a variety of succulents you till be able to create interest with colour and texture. If you feel creative, you could spray paint the wire cage before you begin to match an existing colour scheme. I think a bronze/copper or deep aubergine/chocolate frame would look amazing teamed with similarly coloured succulents 😍

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Image; Drought Smart

5. Garden Bench

There is nothing better than having a quiet space somewhere at home where you can sit, have a cuppa, contemplate and reflect. The garden is an ideal place and this garden bench will provide the perfect spot to sit. Made from Cement blocks and wood, this easily constructed piece of garden furniture will be the perfect project to undertake this weekend.

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Image; Bees and Roses

Whether you have a luxurious escape somewhere planned this weekend,  or are going to get busy around your home, we wish you all a very Happy Easter break.

And, if you are getting on to the crazy roads throughout Sydney or the rest of the country, be safe.

Fwf x

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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.

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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;

lab 1
Image; 5 Dollar Dinners
lab 2
Image; Pin and Paper
lab 3
Image; Best Friends for Frosting
lab 4
Image; Shrimps Salad Circus
lab 5
Image; Simple Details
lab 6
Image; Hardly Housewives
lab 7
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.

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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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