BIG spaces for little people

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Growing cities, shrinking spaces…. and kids.

Some of my inner suburban friends have recently found themselves with a growing family in a small apartment space.  So how do you make sure your kids are still connected to the BIG world around them?

Thankfully, there are some great shared spaces where our kids can still run free, fall over, climb fences, and get muddy, all while learning about the world around them! The brilliant volunteers at Collingwood Childrens Farm in Abbotsford provide education in a very fun environment.  My little friends love the chickens, goats, pigs, cows and horses, and can learn everything from how their jumpers are made (thanks to some lovely ladies spinning wool), to where milk comes from (and even have a go at milking the cows).

Even better for Mums, Dads, and grown up friends, the Farm Cafe is full of freshly made, healthy food and brilliant coffee.

So even though your space may be little, don’t forget to use the world around you – parks, trails, rivers, and other shared spaces can be a great way to broaden your little space and connect you to your local community.

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Outside, Inside

Not all apartments have the luxury of outdoor space.  So bring your outdoors, indoors!  Here’s some inspiration…

ImageFlowers on a coffee table add colour.  Change the water daily to keep your flowers fresher for longer!  These flowers from my Nan’s garden stayed beautiful for over three weeks!

ImageMix and match the size of flowers and vases.  White and glass will look beautiful anywhere.

ImageIndoor plants make your house feel alive, but make sure you get advice before buying. Like us, plants like a certain lifestyle – some love sun, some love shade, some need more water, some struggle in heat.  Keep your plant happy by choosing the right one and giving it the right care, and it will keep you happy, too!

From little things BIG things grow

It’s springtime and Melbourne is remembering how to turn on some beautiful sunny days – mixed in with the inevitable wind and rain to create “four seasons in one day”.  It’s the perfect time for planting some herbs!  Here are my babies upon purchase 12 months ago… 

Image…And as they are today, in a new “Farmers Market” garden from my local nursery.
ImageTop tips:

  • Plants need water.  Keep watering small pots regularly.  Even if it’s rained recently, they will dry out quickly on those sunny days
  • But not too much. Your pots need to have drainage – you don’t want wet feet everyday, neither do your herbs!  Let excess water run out (some holes drilled into my Farmers Market fixed this problem for me)
  • Sun is your friend. And as long as they are well watered, these little babies have thrived even on a west-facing balcony
  • Little plants still need space. After a year in tiny pots, my herbs were almost all roots and no soil.  Gently and with lots of love pull out your plants, take off some of the excess roots, and you can repot back into the same pot with some new soil.
  • Feed your plants!  Good old fashioned Blood and Bone is my choice.  Remember when it comes to edible plants, whatever you plant them in is feeding your food, so organic is best.
  • Enjoy. The smell that comes from your little herb garden each time you water is amazing.  You can feel extra proud of the BIG taste when you use your herbs, food tastes better when the ingredients were grown with love!