Sunday, 14 April 2013


Dear Readers

South Acres Farm Blog has had a name change!!


is the new name!!!  Please subscribe via email
on the blog and join me in a new chapter! Please click on this post to click onto the link to the new blog address

See you there!!


Taken early one morning with the first rays of the sun just catching the petals of the lilly.

Since the last posting, I've had a wee break up at the Gold Coast.  It turned out to be just what we needed.  My oldest daughter who has two little girls under the age of two and my youngest daughter who recently sat the Gamsat Examinations (to qualify for Med. post grad) were my companions.  Our destination was the Cabarita Ocean Retreat  We landed at Coolangatta airport where a driver met us and drove us to the retreat -  just 20 mins away.  The complex is literally meters from the ocean and there is the most beautiful beach.  We enjoyed three days of gluten free, sugar free eating but never felt hungry.   

Our welcome lunch

The food was delicious and we have come away inspired and are cooking all sorts of new meals, using new ingredients.  

Quinoa, lots of raw veg and my current favourite - hemp seeds - cooked this week!

Early wake-up calls had us down on the beach, breathing beautiful seaside air while doing tai chi and then walking briskly.


There is a tremendous amount of physical activity  each morning and the afternoons are set aside for spa treatments.  My girls who are both fit,  found it all quite challenging.  Needless to say,  I did not join them for everything!!

our first stroll to the beach after our arrival

Back on the farm again things have been moving apace.  We had our first official site meeting in Bowral.   We received some bad news.   The soil base had been compromised by the demolition.  The engineer insisted that 163 holes would need to be drilled and  concreted which would result in a solid base upon which the house will be built.  This has incurred extra costs which we had not bargained for unfortunately - not the best way to begin a project.

Mr R-I talking to Richard the foreman

Steven - our driller who seemed very happy to have his photo taken!!!

The "boardroom" where we have our site meetings!

On the home front.  I move in two days.  The  farmhouse looks like a bazaar .... piles of stuff all over the place as I try to make sense of it all.  The washing machine has been going non-stop as I  want  all of the linen/towels etc.,   fresh and clean before going into storage.

In between all of this,  I am still making decisions regarding the new house.  At the site meeting on Tuesday,  decisions   regarding final choice of bathroom fittings had to be made .... eeeeek.... as I get older I seem to be more and more indecisive.  I have struggled endlessly with a final decision regarding the flooring through the house.  Entry - wooden floors.  Kitchen/breakfast - tiles or wood .... Gallery which is a wide passage connecting one side of the house to the other .... tiles.  On the one hand,  I rather love the black & white tile look in a kitchen but not in the breakfast/TV room area - where I would prefer wooden floors.  These two areas flow into each other so there would be a join.  Anyway... I wont bore you with these endless choices,  but suffice to say that I am boring everyone else within my orbit!!  I am also rather obsessed with fabrics and my current fave is William Morris ... don't ask me why ... I think his designs are wonderful.

So.. tonight is my second last night on this wonderful farm.  I am about to make scrambled eggs for supper -   
Tomorrow the packers arrive.

I'm not sure when next I'll be posting.  I have to figure out a way of changing over to the new blog!! - any suggestions will be most welcome! 


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Patience, visiting Sydney and 

Taken very early in the morning

I have had to exercise enormous patience waiting for the demolition of the old house to be completed.  A drive-by every two days has not managed to hurry things up at all!.  As a consequence,  we have visited Sydney quite a bit in the past two weeks.   Last week,  a friend and I went to see War Horse - the theatre production.  We were spellbound throughout the performance,  after which there was a standing ovation.  Hand fulls of tissues were essential as the magnificent puppetry conveyed the emotions of the horses  - quite extraordinary. The war scenes depicted were incredibly real as a result of fantastic lighting, sound and puppetry.

It's a bit exciting visiting Sydney and having the chance to window shop and walk the streets,  in between a coffee or two.  I've grown to love this city, but not quite as much as the Southern Highlands!  I was given a couple of very beautiful scarves for my 60th birthday last year and I wore one of them last week - something I never seem to do on the farm!

Bunny and Penny were extremely naughty in Sydney.  While we were out one day,  Penny (and perhaps Bunny) spent considerable time trying to get a tennis ball out from beneath the sofa.  The evidence in the photo below might explain why I was extremely cross with both of them.  They hate Sydney,  and I am really worried about the coming months we will be spending there while our new house is being built.  They both fall into a decline and mope about as if their lives are about to end!!!

They really are much happier on the farm... This era of their little lives is sadly soon to end ....

I did a little tidying up of the garden in Sydney,  and also enjoyed a visit from Miss Kitty one afternoon!

Sydney courtyard garden
Miss Kitty in her ballet outfit!!

We have also had a couple of "last supper's"
 here on South Acres Farm which have been fun - perhaps bitter/sweet...I have since been emptying out drawers, clearing out cupboards, throwing out and making piles and piles of stuff to be packed when the move happens on 15 April.

The Autumn garden has been lovely  - we have had unusually hot, dry weather which promises good autumn colour as the month of April progresses.

Taken this morning - mist in the distance, with early rays just catching the petals of the Naked Lady

The wind-flowers are always so welcome in the Autumn and make a glorious sight!

The Cimicifuga are flowering now - their feathery tales swaying in the breeze!
Flower arranging in Autumn is always a pleasure as arrangements seem to last much longer.  The Hydrangeas go on for days and days!

We are spending Easter in Mollymook which I am looking forward to enormously.  Long walks on the beach,  healthy eating and fun with the family... what more could anyone wish for...

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter! 

Thursday, 21 March 2013


These past weeks have been both busy and quite exciting.  The latter because we have appointed a builder to build our new house. We have bought an old house in 'old Bowral' .. which is coming down and we will be building a new one in it's place.  I quite like the existing house.  It has two bay windows, is full brick and I thought it would renovate well.  But as we investigated further,  it became apparent  that the damp problems were pretty serious.  The builder told us that starting again would be cheaper in the long run.

Over the next months,  I will be sharing the building experiences and developing house... deliberating over decisions and ideas.  I do feel that I could be presumptuous in assuming that you all might be interested!  I will however,  have these posts to reflect back on when the projects reaches the end.

Below are a couple of pics of the old house.  The elevations have been drawn by Andrew Bell.  This is the second house that we are working on together and as before,  it is a pleasure.

The old house sits on a 1500sq meter block and it faces North.
Situated on a lovely street in "Old Bowral.  An easy walk into the town.

The rear of the property

This is the front elevation and to the far right is the garage which is shown in the photo below.

I love the new plans and am so looking forward to the whole project!  We are in the process of making many many decisions.  I know that the lovely Heidi of Adelaide Villa knows all about this as she is in the process of renovating her lovely home in Adelaide at present.

The demolishing team have been taking the old house apart for the past 10 days and I will show pics of the empty block in  the next post! 

I have found that Pinterest has been a wonderful place to  find and store ideas!  I am presently dreaming of ideas for the new garden.

Before I can really begin enjoying things I still have the move to face.  We have lived on the farm for 8 years and there is an enormous amount of clearing out and organising to get on top of.   Happy days!!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


Some of you might have read that we have sold South Acres Farm.  We have lived here for eight years, have renovated the old house and created a beautiful 5 acre garden from scratch.  We would have loved  two more years but it sold sooner than expected.  I will miss the quiet of the countryside, the clean air, misty afternoons, the birds and even the cows!.  

The interesting thing about the 'missing' of something, is that this 'missing' seems to happen before the actual separation occurs.  I have had a lovely quiet reflective day here on the farm.  The perfect morning - warm and breezy was a good reason to take a cup of tea outside and enjoy the birdsong and the soft light....first signs of autumn.  After sitting awhile and  feeling a little nostalgic about things,  I took the camera and started wandering around the garden  accompanied by Bunny and Penny, looking closely and remembering the planning and planting of each and every tree and plant.  Below are a few of many many photos taken today and some memories and thoughts   

A good cup of tea..

looking at this

I will paint these (there are 2)  a different colour

I have loved this potting shed!

Box cuttings for the next garden!

They are coming with me!

taller than me!
so many happy morning teas here in the shade!

Might repeat this combination - Hydrangea Paniculata and Hosta
This H. paniculata is the only plant from the original garden

The agonies when we pruned the Limes too harshly and waited for ages for the pleaching to happen!

I prefer the sedum (Autumn Joy)  just before they colour, as they tend to collapse .. although their lovely russet autumn colours are lovely too.

the March lily.. a favourite

only a few glimpses of the farm as the Rill has almost closed itself off from the rest of the garden

happiness - they love the farm/garden

   Just some of the many, many trees we have planted 
the roof never did "grey"... I stopped the painting (sealing)  of the whole tea house,   but too late for the roof!
I have loved collecting the Carlton ware!

after 7 years,  these Planes have trebled in size.

The Lime Walk - from the other side. 

Back inside the old cottage - always cool, always home...

Hopefully, I have begun dealing with the 'missing' process and all that  remains is for me to look forward to the planning the next garden - a tiny one this time!