Learn How to Build Wicking Raised Garden Beds

We have built the frame of two raised garden beds, at Buxton Community Garden (Buxton is part of Wollondilly Council, at the base of the Southern Highlands – an hour South of Sydney, Australia).

Buxton Community Garden will now be building wicking (water reservoirs) inside the raised garden frames.  The purpose of this is to save water and help with watering – like a self watering system.

The date to build the wicking water reservoirs is September the 27th.  Everyone is welcome to come along and learn while getting involved (or welcome to just watch). This is a FREE event.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to get involved too.

For all the details check out our event listing.


The raised garden bed frames, will soon have an inbuilt water reservoir, soil and plants.

The Fastest and Easiest Way to Paint a Fence


Finally the sun visited our town and stayed all day – not even the threat of rain.

It was time to finally try ‘sock painting’ our front fence.  Firstly a big shout out and thankyou to ‘Green Eggs and Cans’ for sharing her house sock painting technique with the world.

What is sock painting?

Put on a rubber glove then an old sock over the glove. I used a sock from our ‘lost sock’ draw – where all the socks without pairs go.

The sock on your hand becomes your ‘paint brush’. Place your sock covered hand into the paint then rub your hand over the fence. It’s not rocket science but I will never paint our fence with a brush again.

You may recall that I started painting the fence with a traditional paint brush but was forced to stop due to rain. So I can compare both fence painting techniques – brush against the sock.

My sock painting test?

Faster – a section of the fence, took me two hours to paint with a brush but an equivalent sized section only took 26 minutes to paint!!

Easier – because my fingers and hand are more flexible than a brush it was easier to get into the sides of the fence palings.

Cheaper – Old socks are cheaper than paint brushes and more abundant (well they are in our house). Using old socks is a great way to recycle too!

Simpler – I didn’t clean my sock with water or turps after I stopped painting.  Just made sure I throughly used up the paint on the sock, then left my sock on top of the paint tin.  Hours later I returned to painting by just putting the glove and sock back on.  The sock worked brilliantly again.

Sock painting will save me numerous hours of house painting work.  Hours I would prefer to spend in the garden and with my family.

Happy sock painting!

Elderflower Wine Making Workshop

Ever since I viewed the ‘Elderflower Wine Making’ episode on the TV show ‘River Cottage’, I have been mega keen to give it a go.

Hence my excitement when my local Seed Savers group are running a workshop this Saturday about this very topic.

So expect upcoming posts about making your own organic grog soon.  Also if you live around the Macarthur, Wollondilly or Southern Highlands areas,  feel free to come along – it’s a free event open to anyone who is interested.

Saturday the 21st of Feb at 10am

Free event open to anyone who is interested

Area is Rossmore (leave a comment if you are interested in coming and I will email you privately with the address or feel free to contact me directly – see my contact page)

From the Organiser
If you want to participate directly in the activities and be able to take home some of the days’ work, bring along one cleaned glass bottle for Cider and one for the Elderflower Wine. The bottles need to either have their own lids or be able to take crown seals (pop-top seals).


I CAN Build a Kid’s Cubby House!

“I just don’t have the skills needed to build a cubby house”, was my belief and explaintion.  She looked at me with supportive, yet stern eyes “Sarhn I have no doubt you can do anything you put your mind to.  I have no doubt you have done so your whole life”.

It was the rebuke I needed to hear.  She has only known me a year but she gave me very valuable advice.  Advice which I have given many others over the years but at that moment, I was personally reminded of it.

As someone who is always on guard against ‘negative self talk’, how did this unhelpful belief sneak in? 

Why can’t I build a cubby house for our little one?   I ABSOLUTELY CAN!

I have already earmarked where an outside A-frame style cubby will be built but as previously mentioned we are waiting for major plumbing work to be completed in that area.

However there is a second location for another cubby, play area – part of the Eastern side verandah that was enclosed by the previous owners. 


To date we have never used this area, partly because it’s in need of major TLC.  First we would have to make it safe for children – even before painting and decorating can be done.

So far what has been done?

* Electrican has repaired dodgy outside light wiring.
* The wood decking in this area was stained when we did the back entertainment deck.
* I purchased very wide skirting board from our local hardware, to fix the large floor to wall gap.


* I have now painted the skirting board.   Then using liquid nails and small nail tacks,  I have attached the board to the wall and floor.


Heavy sandstone rocks wrapped in rags, were used to add pressure to the board and wall, while the liquid nails drys.

Now that the area is safe for children, I’ll be:

* Using ‘no more gaps’ everywhere
* Painting
* Decorating – the part where I let my creative, inner child run wild.

The goal is to finish this area in time for our Little One’s second birthday (only weeks away).

The time frame is possible now that my belief and attitude have been corrected – you bet I can do it!