The little porch – a festival of colours

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How can you inject some springtime colour to your outdoor space?  Here’s a tiny place I happened upon in Capri, proving just how much life can be packed into one little porch.  The tiles, flowers, and even the name plate are all fantastic excuses for a festival of colours!

This has been my weekend inspiration for potting up some beautiful flowers in coloured pots for my own little space.  Enjoy!

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The Fab Weekend Entertainer’s Courtyard

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It’s the weekend, and the weather in Melbourne is gorgeous!  I am super inspired to come out of hiding and start entertaining again.

So what to do if you don’t have a big backyard for a barbecue?  You can still make your small outdoor (or indoor) space completely stylish!  My fabulous friend recently invited a group of us for a simple and glamourous Sunday brunch in her small courtyard.  Apart from being a brilliant cook, she made the day special using these touches:

  • Create a theme – here the green and white was fresh, and enhanced the lush outdoor feel.  Even if you are indoors, you can add some flowers for an outdoor feel.
  • Small touches count – my friend had grown her own rosemary, and as well as using it in her cooking, she made little displays in small glasses.  It didn’t take up too much space on the table, but having real herbs with beautiful fragrances really made it feel like spring.
  • Fresh food can be the best ornament of all – it may sound boringly functional, but where space is tight, using your meal as a centrepiece can actually be very exciting!  Think beautiful fresh fruits, lime in glasses, and great, colourful salads
  • Keep it simple – you don’t need to overcrowd with big floral arrangements that people can’t see over!  Keep the hero of the day as the food you serve and the fabulouscompany you keep!

Happy weekend everyone!Image

A holiday mindset, a city backdrop

A holiday mindset, a city backdrop

I found this little guy on a stable lock in a different life months ago when enjoying the small things was a luxury I could afford and corporate city life was the furthest thing from my mind. I remembered how … Continue reading

Water water everywhere…

ImageIn Bali, life is surrounded by water and it definitely seems more serene.  The sound of water always reminds me of life, whether it’s the waves crashing at my favourite beach, a beautiful waterfall, or a pretty little winter creek.  Here in Australia we are lucky to be surrounded by water, however living in the city means it’s not always immediately accessible.

I was inspired by this water feature I found in a tiny Balinese garden, and now that the nights are getting longer I want to enjoy being on my balcony as often as possible.  So here’s my view tonight of my own little water feature, and I’m feeling very calm indeed and ready for a brand new week!  Happy Sunday!

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Celebrating Spring!

Last year, I bought myself some rather sad looking twigs…

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Now look how they’ve rewarded me this spring!  They have blossomed into a beautiful cherry, pear and lime tree!  These self-watering pots from Bunnings are a lifesaver for busy people with limited time.  The pots retain water in the bottom and the plants can soak it up when they get thirsty.  So you always know how much water your trees need to grow up BIG and beautiful.

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Alternative uses for herbs

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As a single person house, sometimes I don’t use up all my herbs.  Here are some alternate uses:

  • Make a display – My herbs bolted so to keep them alive, I had to prune them back.  They looked and smelt divine with my lavender
  • Dry them – Herbs also look beautiful when hanging up to dry.  So decorate your house with them, and they will come in handy when cooking over the slower-growing months, too!
  • Make tea with them – Mint tea, with real mint, is divine.  Try using different types of mint for different strength and flavour
  • Swap them! Think of all your friends, neighbours and family who also cook, and you’ll realise there’s no reason to let your herbs go to waste.  Even better, encourage people around you to grow something for you to share.  Contribute to your community, make new friends, improve the air quality in your little space, and enjoy BIG flavours.  Win, win, win, WIN!

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!