Thu 19th, Jul, 2012

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G’day Beach Cottage blog lovelies!


Well I spent the day out here yesterday doing some gardening…I have decided that I am a Winter Gardener in Australia…it seems to be the time I love to be outside, I must say that when it is really hot it all gets a bit less attractive, though this year I am hoping for lots of stuff to be doing a lot better than last year.

I am not sure if I am going to go too big on the veggies this year because to be brutally honest, last year it was a disappointment….quite a lot of effort for not too much return….

The main thing I had good success with was salad leaves and herbs ….and those herbs that don’t die off are now doing really well, I now have a couple of really well established Rosemary bushes – nothing beats walking out to pick some of that to go in the Sunday Roast, does it?

I have also had success with capsicum and chilli plus onions, my tomatoes were overall a failure,  will have another go with them, someone told me it was the rain we had last year but I don’t know about that, I thought toms like water!



These are a few pretties I bought to brighten up around the front door and put in some pots…I love having pots by the front door, it’s a very English thing I think, a bit like hanging baskets, I don’t see many people doing it here…



I also stocked up on some more herbs…I love having lots of Parsley growing because I have it with everything…I grow it from seed too but I also pick up plants if I see them on offer…


And these pink and whites caught my eye too, I love pops of colour with white outside (surprise surprise!)

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The Summer House deck is a nice little spot for some Winter Gardening (it’s still not really done inside there, but I have seen blinds I like, just have to go and get them and we now have a sofa that is in there, it’s new to me, but I thrifted it and beachy, will show you soon)


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That’s it from me then from the beaches, I have some super ocean shots on the way….


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I hope you like my adventures with this garden…I am really trying to make the best of it, it is far from perfect and my Australian gardening skills are to say the least poor…as I hit pubish here I kinda think what are you thinking posting this stuff?!!    I do not live in a 5 million dollar architect designed house overlooking the ocean with a garden made by a team of garden designers here…it is NOT perfect, I did start a new life on the other side of the world, ended up in a ratty old cottage on the wrong side of town, I makeover old furniture just for me, not as a professional, I foof and plant things and I come here to show you the good bits and document it all along the way…

Bring it on Beach Cottage friends…



p.s. Barley is feeling a bit poorly after his op, poor fellow, he might blog later if he’s up to it Winking smile




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34 Responses to “helloo”

  1. I am desperate to get into some gardening very soon too…I am just getting over the flu and my husband made me promise to sit on my butt in front of the tv today after I overdid it yesterday (just washing windows and taking down way too dark timber blinds, lol!) The beginning of spring cleaning ;)

    Anyway your shots of pretty things in pots make me so excited that I will soon get to do that too! I want to put pretty things in pots by my front door (upright rosemary I think). I have a pink (strawberries and cream) hydrangea that I need to plant, cannot wait for that to flower! It is my birthday tomorrow and I have asked for 6 standard iceberg roses to pretty up my front verandah. I will underplant them with a lavender (grosso is my fave). I am a Kiwi but like a very English style garden, not sure how that will go here in sub tropical Australia though. I really don’t like tropical type gardens (but I do love Frangipani flowers). Then I want to do something with my big bare front lawn. Aussies down’t seem to do front fences in my town. I’d love a little white picket fence with a perennial border on the inside, and some olive trees to give it height…a girl can sit here and dream :)

    xx Karen

  2. jaime says:


    There must be a lot of people around the world that really like amateurs because you have a huge following and many, many people wanting to copy your style. I think what you have accomplished with the cottage and garden is fabulous. Your blog inspires me every day. I am so sorry this person left you a nasty comment, but as they say: “opinions are like telly-buttons, everyone has one”! Some are just nicer than others. (Body part exchanged to keep it clean). ;-P


    I hope you feel better riteawaykwik! Tell your Mummy-lady that a little ice cream and some treats will help immeasurably. ;-D I bet you were really brave today. Good job, Barley.

    Your friend, Zachary D. Greyhound

  3. You know what, you may be onto something with aussies not having pots etc at their front doors! My front door/deck is quite blah really. See!, thats why you push the publish button and blog about your ‘normal’ life, you inspire us other normal everyday girls! I’m off to find a pot and shove something pretty in it, thanks!! xx

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I think we all love what you do because it is achievable and real, uplifting and inspiring. It is so nice to connect with like-minded spirits. I’m always so appreciative for the everyday beauty in my life and actively look for it. Some people seem to be totally oblivious. Love checking out what you’re up to, just can’t wait til I’m not working full time so as to be able to do more. Bought a white birdhouse to perch up on a pole in garden on weekend and even though it was raining just to look out through French Doors and see that pop of white among the greenery made my day. My daughter thinks I’m “gay” but at least I know what makes me happy and it’s not the super expensive. Just the little things in life! Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see your table!
    Karen NZ

  5. Alice says:

    Sarah I love what you are doing with your garden and your gorgeous (and now not so tatty) cottage. I am loving the pots around the summer house they look really sweet. Are these pots the ones you painted with yoghurt to make them look aged? They turned out rather well if they are! Yes I have noticed not many people do have plants in pots near their front door. Most front yards look quite blah (borrowing this description from previous poster – describes it perfectly lol)…. I think people spend so much more time in their back yards that they don’t really pay attention to the fron of the house. I seriously can’t wait to change my front yard but will have to wait a few years yet. It will be the last thing to be done… Yes I have given up on the veggie front too… I feel like the only thing I can grow are the cheaper vegetables and for all that effort it is just easier to get them at the green gorcers…I am not surprised about your tomatoes. They lke water but thye would have had practically drowned with all this rain (too much of a good thing)… That is the one vegie/fruit I plan to grow because we eat a tonne of them (if we could afford to lol)

    Personally there is no wrong side when it comes to the North of Sydney ;) So in my mind you are quite lucky…. Every one has their taste and the modern designer look (with magic ocean views that often go unapreciated) is most surely NOT my cup of tea…. Give me your beaut cottage any day… I would be too scared to live right by the sea… I prefer some distance ( I have my silly reasons for that)….

    Keep the posts coming, I am actually quite curious about your garden (both front and bak yard) and to see what it looks like as you add your magic touch!

  6. Kirsty says:

    It looks lovely to me! You should see my garden during the Winter after some rain and days worth of our two big dogs running all over the lawn! Yikes! It’s funny because my Mum is also English and she has lots of hanging backets and pots near her front door too. She has the loveliest garden full of roses and other lovely things I don’t know the name of! It’s all really quite English cottagey I suppose! :)
    And to you Sarah, I’d say keep doing what your doing, you have a lovely and uplifting corner of the web here and it brings happiness to lots of us especially during these drab winter days! xo Kirsty

  7. Cheryl Pieper says:

    Being normal is what makes your blog so much fun! I do not watch as much HGTV since they have gone to all the million dollar shows. I love seeing things I can do and it inspires me. Beauty is everywhere and discovering it renews the spirit. Keep up the good work. You have a gift and you are using it. Bravo!
    Warm wishes,

  8. HRH Sarah says:

    Sarah, those tomatoes can be quite tricky. Don’t let them fool you, they are super delicate. Where I live there’s an area that’s actually famous for their tomatoes. Something to do with the soil there… However, this year the beginning of summer was too hot, with not enough rain, and so we got mealy, disgusting tomatoes. Then, it rained a whole bunch (yay, right?) and now the tomatoes are splitting from taking in too much water.
    The moral of the story is, don’t let a vegetable (or fruit!) define you as a gardener. There are some years when the flowers bloom, the vegetables are bountiful, the birds sing, and the bees buzz happily. Then there are years when it seems impossible to make anyone happy. Yup, that’s nature.

  9. HRH Sarah says:

    Forgot to mention, love those little potted plants by the door. And love to little Barls.

  10. alison says:


    Who gives a rat’s ar*e if everything you do is not a stunning success? I just love watching your processes. You give us inspiration.

    I went for a long walk around my suburb this morning checking out the local goings on. Believe me, some gardens are lovely and some are, well, mmm. Occasionally you get a garden that is wow! Mr alison and I are going to get in our local nursery to give us advice on our garden soon. It will cost $85 for an hour but I figure that is reasonable as it will give us a plan of action. Our garden looks quite nice but there’s room for improvement.


  11. Rukmini Roy says:

    I love it Sarah!!! I love coriander and yours seem to be growing beautifully. Did you grow them from seeds? I’ll give you a great idea. Have you ever had mustard microgreens? They taste good, gives that crunch to your salads and are full of “goodness” as mum would put. Best part is they only take some 4 days to grow. Or if you choose to grow them to their full size, you can cook mutton stew with it, which tastes deli too :)

    How cheery am I feeling !!!

  12. bec says:

    This weekend I too will be potting up some colour to put out onto our new patio next to the cute little seat my sweet whipped up for me seen in my pics.
    When living in Brisbane I potted up gorgeous lavender, petunias and daisies to put near my front door on some steps only to find them stolen the next day… sad face!
    Hope yours stay put!
    Bec x

    • sarah says:

      WHAT! that is disgraceful! I hope they rot in hell… ;-(

    • Alice says:

      yes this has happened to my mother in law too except they actually stole her potted orchids from her back yard on more than one occasion! Disgraceful!

  13. Libby says:

    Not intending to be rude….hope you don’t take comment that way? I find your blog lovely and your home divine:)

  14. Neen says:

    LUUUUURVE your little pots of colour for the front door. I have tried many, many pots of colour at the front door but as we tend not to enter the house at the front, they die very sadly. So it’s pots of colour out the back for us. For the first time ever I have planted sweet pea seeds, I even made a wooden tee pee for them to climb up. Hope they flower …………the anticipation is high ;)

  15. Sharon Forward says:

    Hi Sarah, summer hasn’t started here iin Kent! so haven’t done any gardening shame on me! your pots look great and hey you know what its your philosophy of making the best of what you have that is the best thing about your blog… you are an inspiration!x

  16. Lynn says:

    Container gardening ~ your pots of color on the step to your summer house project are inspired, Sarah. Go get those shades so we can see inside again.

    “The earth laughs in flowers.” -Emerson

    Have a wonderful day.

  17. I’m afraid I’ll never be a gardener… but reading this has made me realise I so miss having fresh herbs in pots to run to while cooking dinner! Off to do something about that… x

  18. ali thompson says:

    homes don’t need to be perfect to be lovely. i enjoy seeing how you create & display all your things…from garden to kitchen….! well done.

  19. Resa says:

    I enjoy potted flowers by my door, too (here in California). It adds a little joy to my moment whenever I walk up the steps. My gardening skills have been sabotaged by local varmints so I’m always happy with the success of my individual pots. :) Also, I love all of your little lanterns. It reminded me that I have several and I’d forgotten all about them – thanks for the reminder!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Gardening is the best. I find it therapeutic. Your pots, plants and garden look terrific. Love the colors and the lanterns are a great look.

    It’s too hot here in southern California to plant, so I’m doing some mid-summer clearing up. Can’t wait for cooler weather. Today will be 95 F, I think 35 C? Yikes.

    XO to Barls.

  21. ComfyChair says:

    Totally messed up my first comment. Second try should work!

    Love your garden! The colors, plants and lanterns are terrific. You’ve done a great job.

    I find gardening therapeutic. And a great creative venture, working with nature over time. You never really know how some things will work out, and that is exciting.

    Sadly, it’s too hot here to plant in southern California, so I’m doing some mid-summer cleaning up. It will be 95 F today, which is I think 35 C. Yikes! Looking forward to cooler weather.

    XO to sweet Barls. Hope he feels better soon.

  22. ComfyChair says:

    Both comments went through! Aaack!

    That’s it. I’m going back to bed. But first, a cup of iced coffee.

    Cheers, Sarah!

  23. Robynne says:

    Well, Sarah, if my Dad was alive I would just ring him and ask him what to do about your tomatoes. He had a huge veggie patch, so we grew up with fresh produce which, when in abundance, Mum stewed, blanched, froze and cooked up as fast as she could. He was organic before it was fashionable..and I don’t doubt that this stood us in good stead growing up. I do know what you mean about gardening on the other side of the world rather than in a climate you are familiar with…I scratch my head and wonder what I can plant and when…what will withstand the freezing winter (and possible snow)..etc…I think at the end of the day…just have fun and enjoy the climate. Robx
    p.s. did I say enjoy the climate…I didn’t mean me…it wont stop bloody raining here!!

  24. Sarah- we all come back for a read, a chat and a hi- because you keep it all real girlfriend!!

    I’m planting my lavender and smiling at you doing the same – just as I smile at Kim doing her’s on her farm in America and Simone putting pots on her kitchen windowsill in London…

    I don’t want big glamorous, untended-by-the owner-to-garden, or house, pictures- to be honest I don’t enjoy those blogs too much….

    Simple…real…honest…inspiring blogs- love this post- it reminds me of my farm house in England…I too had pots of flowers at the front door- it’s delightfully English!

    Melissa x

  25. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah, just started to catch up on your posts I have missed , life interrupted me for a while .
    Spring is only 35 days give or take away you are a smart girl to start now . Guess its time we all opened the back door and ventured out to the garden .
    I am over shadowed by huge trees so we don’t have any grass , just a tropicial garden and pathways and lots of stones in between , we also have bush turkeys , too many of them they leave the resort near by and slum it with us for a while , they eat any herb , vegie and my fav Bat Flower plant , this plant has a black flower that I talked to daily it was just so different and six bush turkeys just ate it .The same six are on my verandah at 5 am this morning grrrr in the dog bowl . So hard to keep them out of the yard , been told I have to lay dog fence wire down all thru garden for several weeks , when they give up trying to scratch the mulch/ground etc they won’t ever return nor their kids .
    Give the tomatoes a try this year , after August we will maybe head into El Nino weather event , so it will be a whole lot dryer and when it rains it won’t so full on like it been . Tomatoes hate being in the damp . Enjoy the last weeks of winter . Cheers .

  26. Lovely! can’t wait to see the inside of that summer house. I too like container gardening over in ground. Less weeds!

  27. Sarah those little plants are very sweet and will give you lots of joy each time you look at them, when they have finished in the pots you could then transplant them into liitle holes in the garden beds.

    HHHmn Veggies! I have a very large (4 x10 metre beds with trellises and tripods and all sorts of climbing structures!) fenced, dedicated veggie garden behind my shed and right next to my chook yard- I do nothing ‘small’ around here. It has a little pop hole for the chookies to go through to clean it up at the end of summer. I have been veggie gardening for many, many years and I have had plenty of fails! Including being terrified after snake sightings and also fruit fly. But I keep going back to it most years. I focus on the easy stuff- tomatoes(in lots of different varieties) silverbeet and zucchini and cucumbers. I rarely bother doing anything through winter. I have herbs in other parts of the garden, I don’t put perennial stuff in there due to the chooks raking it all up. My advice to get your inspiration back, is to have a good look at the digger’s website, you will be desperate to grow their heritage tomatoes in all the weird and wonderful varieties! plus beautiful pumpkins and just about everything!

    Tomatoes were a fail everywhere last year due to the wet season. if your soil is too ‘rich’ in nutrients they also put all their energy into leaf growth rather than fruiting. Most years I have to shock mine with no water (wait til they look all droopy and sad) and then they are scared they are going to die and get busy trying to reproduce to ensure their species survival, so send out heaps of flowers – then you get your fruit! I have aslo been known to pierce the stem with a piece of copper wire-I have heard it helps them too. Cherry tomatoes are my absolute favourite as they seem to be more resistent to fruit fly!

  28. Melissa says:

    I love your blog – you inspire me in all areas of my life – my garden, my home, my cooking, my make up and of course my fashion style! – thankyou for keeping it real, and thankyou for brightening my day :)