Wednesday, 28 March 2012


The village of Burrawang, is just a hop and a skip away from South Acres.  First settled in 1862, Burrawang nestles in the very heart of the Highlands.  See

The road into Burrawang is really beautiful - see pic below.

Burrawang is a very pretty village and has a  busy and close community.  There is always something going on in the village and most of the villagers join in and they all know each other. 
The main street of Burrawang - beautiful autumn Maples

We go into Burrawang quite often as our butcher John Mauger sells the most delicious meats and we have yet to be disappointed.  The Maugers are also very popular caterers in the area and you will see by my photos that this old-fashioned butchery is delightful !

Look at the wonderful butchers block !!
 Old fashioned and
friendly service !

The Burrawang "Pub" is very popular with the locals and Thursday nights there are legendary !

The General Store serves teas/coffees and light meals  - check out their website here

Below are a couple of pretty homes in Burrawang

Burrawang has an annual Easter Market which is great fun and very well attended.  The weather is usually wonderful and it is a great day out !
To find out more about the market, click

Thanks for looking... next stop Robertson !! Have a look at my new blog : Homestead Interiors

GARDEN HEDGES - " A hedge between keeps friendships green"!

Imagine a garden without hedges ?  Impossible I say! Growing up in South Africa, with a mother who loved her garden, hedges were only used to mark boundaries, and not incorporated into the overall design.  Most gardens then were crammed with flowering annuals, perennials and shrubs!  Initially our garden here at South Acres was also crammed full of perennials and shrubs,  but over time, I have tried to simplify the garden.  Hedges create form and style to a garden and are such an important part of the initial planning. They become the "bones" of a garden  during winter, when the  evergreen hedges still provide the green structure and tracery,  within which the dormant garden quietly sleeps.

Laurel on the right and Buxus on the left.. bordering the rose garden

South Acres Farm has many hedges.  The house and garden are divided from the paddocks on the South side by a very, very long Laurel hedge, providing a back-drop  as well as sheltering the garden  from the southerly winds.  This hedge was completely grown out when we bought the farm, and we employed chain-saw bearing men to bring it back to form!   
I have never measured this hedge - but it's definitely no shorter than 100m !
The garden at South Acres  is almost 5 years old.  We have wonderful soil and a very good rainfall and so everything has grown incredibly fast.

The courtyard garden

Bottom of the herbacious garden

Pleached Silver Pears at the entrance
Buxus and Laurel and herb garden in the foreground
The pleached Lime walk (Tilia Cordata) and Buxus beneath.

The long winding Hornbeam hedge with Buxus at it's feet in the foreground

Thanks for looking and please leave a comment if you'd like to ! Have a look at my new blog :

Thursday, 22 March 2012


" Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding"  -  Gian Carlo Menotti

I am in love with ALL things botanical.  My love of gardens, flowers,  botanical plates, paintings, fabrics , wall-papers has never wained.  How can references to  everything so beautifully created by nature ever go out of fashion?  The colour green so beautifully links all of natures colours - The trees and lawns form the background and base of our gardens and allows a quiet harmony of all colours,  which anywhere else would not work...

I have owned a dinner service of  Portmeirion  "The Botanic Garden"  for over 30 years and I love it still.  It has served me so well... in and out of the dishwasher and still glossy and clear, the strong colours and details intact.

Using a botanical theme can be such fun and is quite easy to achieve.
My friend, Bumble's mum -  lays the most beautiful table.  If you read Bumble's blog, you will find photos of some of her beautiful table settings.

I love this setting.  The faux bois planter filled with cactus, the Oak Leaf Hydrangea on the left, the flatware - Lovely !!
        This more formal setting is superb !  I adore the cloches, the ferns and the moss.

The three photos below are more examples of botanical settings... each quite different but lovely.  It's so easy stepping outside for a couple of sprigs from the garden.  The setting doesn't have to be elaborate... even a bowl of vegetables/fruits with oak leaves or anything green will do the trick.

 The lovely setting above is for St Patrick's day . Have a look at to see more of this lovely setting.


I love this room.  The huge framed botanical dominates and the pots/urns on the table add to the scheme.

How easy to create botanical magic in this little corner!  I love the bronze hurricane lamp as well as the two mini cloches.  The baskets beneath the bench add texture.  Gorgeous !!

Above is a photo of the verandah in my home in Paddington Sydney.  The huge botanical oil is by Diana Watson -  and it looks beautiful above the banquette and cushions designed for this space by Thomas Hamel


The Botanical theme is a favourite with wedding planners.  My daughter got married three years ago and we used this theme.  Below are a couple of photos !

The corner of the marquee... the one end of the buffet table.   Living flowering roses "planted" !

The other end of the buffet table displaying the Wedding Cake and other delights !


To finish off this vast subject.. and I could go on for days !!!   A couple of interiors that I love !

                              Isn't this room just beautiful? !!  I adore the chairs !

Green green green !!  Love the striped fabric,  botanical cushions on the sofa and the wonderful cabinet in the corner.  Also.. don't the three vases on the round table look
lovely?!  Have a look at my new Blog : Hometead Interiors


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


" I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck"   ~Emma Goldman

There is nothing I love more than to grab my basket on a beautiful early morning and head off into the garden,  dogs at my heels... my slippers and their paws wet from the dew as we pick flowers for the house .  I have a rose garden,  planted mostly with David Austin roses . John Nichols,  who helps in the garden as well as on the farm,  is an absolute wiz with the roses.  He knows exactly how to prune them,  what to feed them and what to spray when there are bugs.  I have had a few years of wonderful pickings from the rose garden, but the past 2 summers have been so wet that the blooms have been very disappointing.. often bruised, turning brown and failing to open.  Below are photos of flowers I have picked over the past 5 years and I thought I would share these with you.

David Austin rose " Pat Austin "

Hybrid Tea rose "Ashram" - a really wonderful rose in a deep apricot colour

The above three photos show most of the David Austin roses... abundant and beautiful !

The very beautiful "Jude the Obscure"

Pickings from my Herbacious Border - the colours tone well with the old stone wall of the house.

The three photos above showing more David Austin roses

I have only been successful growing Sweetpeas once !!

All waiting to be plunged into cold water !

Hydrangeas,  Acanthus and Lysimachia Cletheroides

Stately white gladiola - picked before they tumbled over !

An Autumnal arrangement all picked in the Rill

Beautiful blue Hydrangeas from the Woodland garden

I love Dahlias !   This is called "Winky Wopper" !!

Beautiful "Jude the Obscure"  in a lovely old Majolica jug

Pierre de Ronsaard - from my courtyard fence

Lilacs in the spring