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Party like a 2 year old

19 May

Happy birthday to my little Daredevil.  He has made it to two despite every attempt to jump, fall, climb, and run into the face of danger.  Although I had fantastic plans for a gorgeously themed second birthday party, we settled for a “theme” of good food, good friends and good fun out in the late autumn sun.

Utilising a big open common area within our villa complex we were able to have enough room for munchkins to run and adults to relax and soak up the blue sky sun.  I realised how good it is to have a big garden space that is able to be adapted and utilised as an extension to your inside living space.  If we had tried to have the 30 odd people fit into our place it just would not have worked.  While the space is nothing special, there is a lot of potential, and the potential is the best part about it.  It is almost a blank canvas waiting for users to shape it.

It has been a very big day, I’m exhausted and ready for bed, so thought I would just share some of our photos from today.

Time to blow out the candles and go to bed!

Sam

Friday Finds – the growingest kids party

18 May

As you know, We’ve been putting together the Daredevil’s second birthday party for tomorrow, so I have been spending a bit of time trawling the interweb for kids party ideas.  I found one that I’m putting in the memory banks for when my munchkins are just a little bit older.  The Green Thumb Barbers Blog had the absolute best birthday party idea – “My first herb garden”.  I love the idea of teaching kids about growing their own in a fun party atmosphere.  I’ve borrowed a few of their photos to give you an idea of how fantastic it looks.  The best bit was that the kids were given food that could be made from things growing in their own garden which closed the food loop.  Check out the full story here.

Can’t wait until I can host one of these parties for my kids!

Sam

Garden Party for a Little Daredevil

8 May

The Daredevil is turning two.  A massive milestone for a little boy who likes to test the limits on life.  How high, far, fast can he go?  What is the acceptable dress code?  How loud can he be?  How much can you hug?  As he is our second child, he kind of gets a little bit forgotten in the celebration stakes.  It’s not intentional, but his second birthday is in less than two weeks and we still haven’t settled on what sort of party to hold for him and where!

I think we will have a garden party and hope that the weather produces a spectacular day with blue skies and bright sunshine, perfect autumn weather.  However, I am struggling to come up with ideas for how the party should look and feel.  The garden party image goes hand in hand with little girls, fairies and all things pretty and flowery.  How do I turn this around to suit my little Daredevil?  Mind you, he is not adverse to a spot of fancy fairy and princess dressing up, and can rock a pair of play high heels with the best of them, but he does also seem to get a thrill out of the more boyish pursuits of kicking balls and swinging bats.

I’ve posted before about the basics of a garden party – if you missed it, you can travel back through time here.  It’s not the basics I need for this one, I’m looking for a bit of inspiration for the details!

I’ve found some fantastic theme and styling ideas on the internet.

There were Safari themes – photo from http://www.tipjunkie.com

…and camp out themes photo from http://www.tipjunkie.com

But my favourite theme was this fantastic “That’s what little boys are made of” party styled by Lovely Like You located in Aukland NZ- perfect for a garden with it’s frogs and snails!

So much for the inspiration searching, I just need to get down to the business of doing…

Sam

Friday Finds – Happy Star Wars Day

4 May

It’s May the fourth – May the fourth be with you!

This week’s Friday finds has been around for a while, but it is a good one.  I struggled to work out how I was going to combine Star Wars day with landscape – sure there’s the really cool computer generated intergalactic Lucasfilm landscapes, but we’ve all seen them.  I decided to delve into the world of things to do in your garden – enjoying your space, and enter the wonderful world of photographer Chris McVeigh.  Combining the Chipmunks that occupied his yard, and a collection of Star Wars figurines, he has created these gems.

Too cool and way too much fun.  He also photographs lego figurines and toys and sells prints, mobile phone cases and laptop skins of his images.  Check out his website here and his shop here.

And remember, use the fourth Luke…

Sam

PS I’m really not that big a Star Wars fan, but Mr Perfect is rather fond of the original trilogy and is just waiting for the right time to share them with the Drama Queen and Daredevil.

Valentine your garden

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day!  Instead of the usual soppy cards and roses, I like to look for some different, fun and unique ideas for showing my loved ones how much I care.  It’s not often that we go over the Valentines top at Drawn Outdoors HQ, but one day I might just surprise Mr Perfect!

Oh Happy Day had this idea for transforming your lawn into a loved up artwork. You might like to try it out, the instructions are at Valentine’s Day Garden Heart Attack

Activekidsclub.com has a great idea to spread the valentines love to our feathered friends (though the instructions will need a little adaptation for those of us in the southern hemisphere).  Take a look at Give a Heart to the Birds.

trendhunter.com has found a more extreme way to demonstrate your love.  Check out their Valentine street art gallery

And my favourite outdoor valentine project is this one from Playscapes.  Because everyone loves a playground, check out this fantastic playground designed by a year 3 class in Denmark and realised by landscape architect Helle Nebelong.   The Playscapes article is here.

Love and Valentine’s kisses to you all,

Sam

Summer days…

2 Dec

Ahhh… Summer how I love you.

I want to be here

Create this

Drink this

and leave these

What’s your summer outdoor dream?

Sam

P.S. yes, these are my photos and it was wonderful!

Drawn Outdoors with Sesame Street

10 Nov

 

 

 

 

 

 

The things you find when you have little people that need entertaining on a wet day!  This might just have to be Drawn Outdoors theme song!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have this morning.  Are you smiling now??

Sam

Sculpture by the Sea

9 Nov

One of my personal highlights for a Sydney spring is the annual Sculpture by the Sea event that extends between Bondi and Tamarama beaches.  It ticks a heap of my boxes.  I get a cultural injection through some spectacular sculpture, a landscape hit from the location and the setting of the artworks, plus a great day by the beach.

The view to Bondi and the crowds along the coastal walk for Sculpture by the sea

Each November the foreshore and headland parks betweeen Bondi (from the Icebergs) through to Tamarama Beach are transformed through a mass of sculptural artworks.  The incredibly popular and free exhibition is in its fifteenth year.  The Sculptures range from the absolutely divine to the completely ridiculous, but all are set perfectly along the picturesque coastal walk pathway.

We ventured out on a hot sunny Sunday to merge with the masses enjoying both the weather and the sculpture.  As it was the first weekend, there were crowds.  Pre munchkins Mr Perfect and I would venture down after work and enjoy the sculptures by twilight and minimise the crowd factor, which is a much better option if you’re able to take it.  The Drama Queen loved the sculpture, she fell in love with so many of them.  She enjoyed the sculpture so much she didn’t even notice the playgrounds along the way!

We only managed to see half the artworks, so we will be making a return trip to see the rest.  With over 100 sculptures there’s plenty there for more than one visit!

I’ll let the sculpture speak for itself.

Ayad Alqaragholli heavenly kiss

Wang Shugana meeting 1

Matthew Harding quiescence

Marcus Tatton the ruin

Deborah Halpern Ship of fools

Tania Spencer spin

Simon McGrath who left the tap running

Keld Moseholm rolling pin

Jane Gillings provenance (a gilt frame) and yes, a Drama Queen!

Julie Collins and Derek John save our souls - shared journey

Chen Wenling childhood horizon

Dominique Sutton and Sasha Reid melt

Sculpture by the Sea is on until 20 November.  If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, this may just be your solution!

Sam

Wandering the Everglades

25 Oct

The Everglades in Leura is one of the most spectacular cool climate gardens the Blue Mountains has to offer.  Managed by the National Trust, the gardens and house herald back to the time when the Blue Mountains meant a retreat from Sydney, a journey and a holiday as opposed to the day trip or quick weekend that it is now.  The gardens are picturesque and European in character and the house is an Art Deco classic.  During our weekend away in the mountains (if you missed it you can read about it here) I managed to take some time for a stroll through the gardens, and despite the slightly soggy weather, spring in The Everglades did not disappoint.

The garden inspection crew ready to go!

because of the weather, the gardens had a very European feel

Designed by the Danish horticulturalist and landscape designer Paul Sorensen in the 1930′s for Henri Van de Velde, a textiles businessman, The Everglades has been described as an extraordinary endeavour for its day.  Designed to be sensitive to it’s bushland setting whilst incorporating modernist influences, as was the trend in many European gardens of the day, the gardens incorporate both formal and more natural features.

The Cherry Terrace

Decorative art deco panels are a feature of the gardens

Timber bench, stone wall and staircase

The spectacular terraces cascading through the site are a clever way to overcome the steep terrain.  The views from the terraces into the bushland valley below are equally as impressive as the view looking back up at the structured modernist lines and sculpted gardens of the terraces.  We were ambitious thinking that we could take the more adventurous (and less controllable) munchkins through the gardens in their prams.  While there are ways of getting around that are level, The gardens are better appreciated on foot and by using the stairs between the terraces, so the prams were ditched half way through.

The structured garden architecture provides a framed view of the valley below

The Lookout, and the valley below

The art deco "cloud" themed balustrade at the lookout

Overall, the garden design is spectacular, but it is the little details and craftsmanship that really make you want to spend hours wandering through the terraces and meandering the paths and grottos.  The planting design throughout the garden is sensitive to the site and surrounding environment.  As the garden moves towards the surrounding bushland, species selection moves towards a native palette.  Exotic species are utilised in the formal garden spaces, and as the formality moves towards more relaxed forms, the species also change.

A sea of Bluebells welcomed us as we entered the gardens

The tulip beds were spectacular!

The Azaleas, in full bloom were gorgeous

The stonework is amazing

Stonework detail

There is a lovely juxtaposition between the natural and the built garden

One of my favourite spaces was the amazing kitchen garden.  The produce is utilised in the cafe housed in the art deco house.  The Daredevil loved it too!

The Daredevil checking out the vegetable garden

I loved the time we spent in The Everglades, and can’t wait to see how spectacular it looks on a blue sky sunny day.  Might have to visit in Autumn and see the deciduous trees at their best.

Sam

Floral interlude

19 Oct

I’ve found myself taking a lot of photos of flowers lately, and thought I would share a few with you – I love spring!!!

Ahhhh… so pretty!

Sam

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