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May 2010

Raised garden bed inspiration

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We're planning some new raised garden beds. I'm still not sure what material I want to build them out of, so was pleased to see all the different styles of raised garden beds at Sandhills Community Garden, Newcastle East. I'm no closer to making a decision....but am inspired to think about being creative with colours. 

The garden has an open day this Sunday 6th June. I'd love to check out the Green Roof workshop. Details here.


'Just not in my backyard'

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We discovered a dead Flying Fox on the side of the road today. She was below power lines so was probably electrocuted. These cute furry creatures are, to me, one of the saddest examples of our disconnection with nature.

We’ve destroyed their habitat, leaving them little option but to forage among us. Instead of being pleased that we can help conserve this threatened species, we're bothered by their noise, or concerned that they smell or may kill a tree or two. So we force them on, to who knows where, by spraying them with water, blasting them with loud noises, cutting down their homes, and even trying to scare them with a huge inflatable man.

We’re happy to conserve threatened species, just not in our own backyards. The trouble is…our backyards are spreading into their habitat.

Little Eco told me we should “fix the flying fox with sticky tape and then she can fly high high up into the sky…so the worms don’t eat her”.

I wish it were that simple.


My creative space ~ Felting and flu ~

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There's been a lot of felting old jumpers around here recently. After falling in love with the felted wool oven mitts Daddy Eco made me, I decided a woolen bed spread from old recycled jumpers would be lovely. Inspired by the gorgeous keepsake blanket in The Sweater Chop Shop by Crispina Ffrench, I'm making one in various shades of natural and earthy tones. Maybe i'll have it ready by next winter?

Unfortunately, today my creative space is restricted to the kitchen bench. I've finally succumbed to a flu that has been making its way around the office, but i'm determined to fight it with rest and fluids. I've been drinking green smoothies and lemon, ginger and honey tea. I even tried putting garlic in my tea...I don't think i'll be doing that again.

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Do you know any good immune boosting natural remedies? Hints gladly received.

More creative spaces here.


Dob in a tosser

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Collecting road-side rubbish thrown from cars. Clean up Australia Day March 2009.

There’s not much that frustrates me more than seeing someone throw rubbish or cigarette butts out of their car windows. You too? For those of you living in NSW, did you know you can dob these tossers in?

They unfortunately won’t be fined, but they will be sent a warning letter, advising them of penalties. Perhaps they will think twice before tossing next time?

Check out the reporting form and read the FAQ and you will be prepared next time you see a tosser. You will need to record details such as vehicle registration, date and time, suburb and street, and the type of rubbish thrown. The easiest way to record these details is to record yourself stating all the facts. I simply phone my own mobile number (from my mobile) and leave a message for myself. Easy!

You can also dob in smoky vehicles.

Get the kids involved. They can pretend they are an environmental protection officer. Have fun. 


Coal ships and wood chips

Our two favourite parks from week three of our urban adventure couldn't have been more different to each other. 

Walsh Point Reserve, Kooragang:

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This reserve was pretty unusual. We had to drive through the coal loaders and past mountains of wood chips to get there. You can see a pile of wood chips to the right in the photo above. Little Eco took this photo. I'm always amazed at how she manages to get straight horizons. Mine are always crooked!.

It's an eery place and I won't be going there again without Daddy Eco. It's in the middle of nowhere and empty except for the odd fisherman. But it's worth visiting. We watched the coal ships and tug boats come in and played on the beach, seeing how far we could throw chunks of slag. It was windy and empty and Little Eco loved running and yelling. What is it about wind that makes kids go crazy?

Lambton Park, Lambton:

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Lambton Park Playground has been renovated recently. I'm impressed! It's the best park so far for imaginative and creative play. Little Eco especially loved the water play, the climbing equipment and she served me endless cups of sand tea from her 'tea shop'.

 Need some outdoor or play inspiration? Head on over to 5 Orange Potatoes for 'Outdoor Monday' and Childhood 101 for 'We play'.