side garden

As it's now officially Winter (with the temperatures suddenly switched to match - we've had night time temperatures of 2C which is very cold for Adelaide this week), I thought I was overdue to do a wrap up of Autumn.

 Back garden

Other side garden

This year Autumn was particularly spectacular in Adelaide. I think because we had such an unusually wet Summer the leaf change was dramatic, and for a 2-3 week period I just loved looking out over my back garden with the changing colours from rich deep reds, to umbers and bright golds. Of course this also means that I've had the leaf blower out a fair bit, and will do so for another few weeks yet, as some trees are still going.

A lot of my work the past few months has been drafting and design of new projects, so nothing particularly interesting to show on the blog, completed project wise. I did do about 85% of the beach house project install that I was working on a few months ago. It was a pure decorating job (furniture only, no Architecture or Interior components to it) and I took a few snaps before I rushed off. Still waiting on a few key pieces to be made and delivered, so I'll post some further pictures once it's all done. I'm really pleased with how it's all come together. The wall colour was the existing, nothing has been repainted.

Octopus over the master bed, which some Instagram followers found a little spooky to potentially sleep under. Fabrics are William Yeoward and Ralph Lauren. I chose relaxed, washed out navy tones

Work has also nearly wrapped up on one of my long term projects. We're still waiting on a few pieces, but I thought I'd share these in progress shots of the concealed TV I designed to hide in wall panelling in the casual living area. It has a push catch on the panels that fold back to see the TV. I've done a lot of paneling in this house, so this pared back modern approach worked well in the new extension. Cushions (and garden plants outside!) are still to come

I did do a cushion delivery of some for other rooms though, and this is the window seat reading nook in the Tweenager's bedroom that has been completed. I looove this room so much.

In our own house, the large bronze pot, final focal point for the front garden, was placed on its plinth. This was delivered last November, however the pre Christmas rush, and the post Christmas holidays meant my landscaper was unable to build the plinth it sat on until a month or so ago. It's had a box ball put in it, and is underplanted with a trailing succulent. I need to plant something around the base to get it to blend in a little (aside from dead leaves), but the front garden is looking so good now. Everything has grown enormously in just a year and a half, and I think it really suits the style of the Victorian era house.

Bigger than it looks here

Progress on the new garage has been a little slow the past few weeks. With colder temperatures the render is not setting overnight, and it's been slow going. Hopefully this week it will be completed and the scaffolding will come down - in the meantime the builder wrapped it in tarpaulins to try to keep it all dry to allow the renderer to work. The painting inside started over the past week, and the gyprocking (plastering) has almost been completed upstairs. New garage doors were installed too, so it's finally inching closer. I think probably in 3-4 weeks time it will be complete.

inspiring view from the back garden

A few readers have emailed or commented to tell me to get to the David Roche Foundation museum in North Adelaide, and I'm ashamed to say I have only just been, a year after it opened. This is despite the fact that I've attended no less than two dinner talks given by both Martyn Cook (the Foundation head, and a very well known antique dealer originally from Sydney), and Robert Reason, head curator. Both gave fascinating talks and I was desperately wanting to go.... but things have been busy and a year flicked by.

Elephant inkwell on malachite base was a gift to Tsar Nicholas II

De Gournay wallpaper clad spare bedroom. In the corner is an embroidered waistcoat that had belonged to Louis XVI

Finally I made it with a friend, and I have to say it's one of the best Private house museums I've been to in the world. Worth a trip to Adelaide for this alone. David Roche put together one of the best collections of Russian, French and English antiquities around his particular interests, and the collection has been conservatively valued at $85 Million. Many of the items would no longer have been allowed to leave their country of origin now - there are chairs that Catherine the Great commissioned and sat on, items owned by Napoleon, Regency English furniture, paintings, silver, Faberge boxes, Chinese export porcelain, and all displayed in his house, a typical Adelaide sandstone villa which he decorated in a flamboyant manner (De Gournay wallpaper, leopard print, elaborate passementerie on the curtains etc). Nothing is behind ropes, and you can wander at will with the tour guides. After the tour finished, we walked down Melbourne street to The Lion for lunch in the restaurant. It was a very pleasant break from the hum drum day to day of family life and work.


It was the Royal Flying Doctor's "Wings for Life" ball a few weeks ago, and as usual I frocked up and went with some friends. This year's theme was "Beach Ball", and they had sand inside and a band playing classic beach themed music from the 60's onwards. It was great fun, as always, and we sat with some very funny friends on our table who kept us all entertained. I wore a Collette Dinnigan dress that long term readers would remember me purchasing a few years ago, and DIY'd my own hair this year into a messy updo which I stuck a brooch into for interest. I did not go barefoot however, as I'm short enough without removing my heels. Here are some terrible iphone selfies to show you my efforts:

dress - a great underarm shot if I do say so.

blurry DIY hair photo

Just before Easter I was lucky enough to attend a lunch at which Janelle McCulloch was the guest speaker, launching her long awaited book "Beyond the Rock". The book has been a labour of love for Janelle who has painstakingly researched the life of Joan Lindsay, author of the seminal Australian novel "Picnic at Hanging Rock". Janelle's book is a biography of Joan Lindsay, and in particular her writing of a mysterious novel that has captured the public's imagination in a way that no other book has done since in Australia. Janelle gave a fascinating talk about the influences in Joan's life, and what had lead her to write the book. It's a beautifully compiled biography, more like a coffee table book in the production values, and while it doesn't answer "the secret" (no one can, as Joan carried it to the grave with her), it certainly made me draw my own conclusions as to what compelled her to write the book, and if it had a factual basis to the mysterious story of the disappearance of four school girls and their teacher on St Valentine's Day 1901.  Janelle has long written a wonderful blog centring around Travel, Gardens and Design, The Library of Design, which is on my sidebar if you haven't already discovered it.

Another thing that I have been reading are old magazines - very old. I bought a set of "Flair" magazines, circa 1950-51, which have had an enduring influence on graphic designers, publishers, and other related design fields ever since their very brief print run (It closed after a year due to high cost of production). It's clearly been an influence on modern publications such as Cabana magazine, and reading such a high quality magazine of its era was fascinating. I loved the ads, the suggestions on lifestyle matters (table linens, newleywed gifts, furniture), beautifully tailored fashion from its era in New York and the high quality articles from leading literary luminaries at the time such as Hemingway. If you don't want to try to hunt these down yourself, but are interested in their contents, a compendium was put together by Rizzoli in coffee table book format called "The Best of Flair".

I can't imagine how uncomfortable it would be to sleep in this to sweat off the weight...


I have been making a recipe I discovered on Tenina's blog quite a bit. It tastes a lot like a Vietnamese Clay Pot curry in that it is light and fresh tasting, and as it makes a very large quantity is great for freezing. I serve mine with Rice noodles and steamed beans.

Spicy Vietnamese Ginger and lemongrass Curry
Here are the instructions and recipe if you have a thermomix


4 trimmed lemongrass stalks
8 Cloves Garlic
8 Kaffir Lime Leaves
5cm piece of ginger (peeled)
1 small red thai chilli (recipe calls for 2, but my children prefer mild tastes)
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3KG diced beef (chuck)
2 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1 TBSP fish sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3-4 eschallots peeled
500grams Carrots diced

In a mortar and pestle, or food processor process lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilli until a fine paste forms. Add olive oil and fry off in a saucepan for a few minutes until fragrant. Add water, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, Star Anise and Cinnamon stick to mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a slow cooker (or large casserole pot), add beef and pour over the liquid. If cooking in the casserole pot, set the oven at 150C and cook for 4 hours. Add eschallots and carrots for the last hour of cooking. Serve with Rice Stick noodles.

It takes about 10 minutes of basic prep and then you have enough to feed a family for several meals. A great meal for the time poor.

These are (possibly) my last roses, which I picked a couple of hours ago. Somehow they've survived the cold overnight temperatures. Every time I think I've picked the last, I get a couple more on the bushes, so who knows! I've put them in an empty Cire Trudon candle vessel. They make a great vase.

Lastly, I thought I'd comment on the terror everyone has about the profiling that goes on in the Social Media world. If you're on Facebook or Instagram there are targeted ads, all mining information on you based on your likes, who you follow, words or terms you use, and places you've tagged or been tagged as visiting. I know people get very worked up about the information possibly being used against them. But I am here to tell you all to fear not! Based on my Instagram targeted ads, I think we're all safe. I follow, and generally like other people's photos of Interiors, books, gardens, fashion... pretty much everything you see me write about on here. Based on this, Instagram has been targeting me with these ads:

Eyelash extensions for Asian women

Some stone thing to attach to your hijab that will make you look "classy as hell"

A special Easter celebration at a Gay bar in Singapore called "Are you a friend of Dorothy's"

And just for good measure, a breastmilk keepsake pendant. 

I think Instagram has got a little confused. We all have nothing to fear people.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.


  1. Dear Heidi
    I loved this latest post, as always. You really cover a waterfront of lovely topics. Am always so pleased to see seasonal shots of your garden as the months pass. It's remarkable how quickly it has established and grown (all that planning and prep of course) and how beautiful. And the great thing is it will get even better with time. House is looking wonderful too.
    Adore house museums! The Adelaide one looks superb - will have to come back again one day as it looks like a must-see. Love all the history about who sat on the chairs and whose clothes are on the walls. At Le Grand Vefour have sat over the years in Josephine's (twice), Napoleon's and Cocteau's seats. Kind of adds a frisson to dining there. At La Colombe d'Or I like to imagine the spirits of Scott and Zelda, Hemingway, Isadora Duncan, Matisse, Calder etc surrounding the diners.
    Managed to buy a copy of Janelle's book on the Rock before we left on hols. But had no time to read it - a treat to come back to then. We had lunch at one of her favourite places, the Royal Riviera Hotel at Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It really is a lovely spot - and then walked along the beautiful waterside path along Cap Ferrat where G did a painting of the gorgeous David Niven house.
    So funny about the algos tracking us on social media. They clearly have no idea who we are or our tastes and are really taking hilarious stabs in the dark. Find the same with Hotmail - I get so much junk mail - everything from investment opportunities - just send my bank account details and some nice person in Nigeria will put millions into my account; have won lotteries and cars and trips heaps of times {I wish); sex aids; dating agencies; pharmaceutical products; insurance; Toys R us; offers to get paid to free trial cooking appliances - including Thermomix, etc. Used to annoy me but doesn't any longer - I just empty the junk mail box and take it as one of the downsides of social media/Instagram, whatever.
    Can't wait to see pics o the new studio/garage when finished! Pammie xx

    1. Pammie you would LOVE that museum! A definite must see I think. That's very funny about your emails! I get a lot of them too, a lot of the ones in the blog email are quite hilarious, although a little bit inundating - I often lose the real emails under them all. The trip sounds lovely! You still have a while to go yet, so it sounds like that book will have to wait xx

  2. Love this post with lots of news! You are having some chilly weather. Of course here we are just getting started with summer. It's been a gorgeous spring in the garden due to all the rain we've had but quite cool too. We had our first drink on the terrace just on Friday.
    Love that dress it's 11/10. So funny about the instagram ads, I agree I think we're safe there.
    Thanks for the recipe and my goodness your garden churns out beautiful roses! Won't it be nice when your garage project is complete, I hope it's wrapped up soon. XO

    1. It's been surprisingly cold for us at this time of year Dani! Nothing like your winters, but the kids have been shivering in the car on the way to school the past week. So glad to hear you're starting to enjoy some warmer weather in your beautiful garden.
      I hope the trip to Italy was fun - it certainly looked it from your instagram photos. I can't wait for the garage to be finished. I'm so sick of the random things everywhere, and packing up my work every night on the dining table and putting it away is getting old. It will feel very luxurious to be able to leave something out overnight... and not have to hunt down my tape measure or scale ruler due to my children taking them! xx

  3. I so enjoyed this post! and as always i'm in awe of what you have accomplished indoors and outofdoors. instagram actually did me a favor (I think ) by waving an ad for an artisans' coop in Corsica under my nose, and after a bit of e-correspondence with the delightful manager I placed an order. To be continued, i guess, because it hasn't arrived yet.

    1. Fred you'd definitely be the first person I've heard with a positive experience from the targeted ads!! On Facebook I remember receiving ads laden with grey haired elderly gentlemen to "Find Mature Love" - I was at the time 36 and had my relationship status as Married. Or ads for Gout. I think it proves the people that write the algorithms are 12, but also that they haven't got terribly sophisticated about working out target audiences. I'd be very annoyed to be that Gay bar and find out I'd paid for ads that targeted a married mother in her 40s a 7 hour flight away....!
      Look forward to hearing your final experience with the coop in Corsica! x

  4. your garden is perfect!!!! as is the navy dress, stay sane xx

    1. Not perfect - I was just was out blowing leaves around again! It looks a little neater now. xx

  5. Heidi, Thank you so much for the very kind mention. I was so touched to read it! Yours is about the only blog I read now as it's always so interesting. My sister-in-law went to the David Roche museum and adored it. I wish I'd known about it when we were there visiting friends a few weeks ago. Thank you for posting pix of it. It looks so amazing. And your dress is as beautiful as the outfit you wore to the Queen Adelaide Club! Also love Catherine O'Neill's watercolour of your dad's garden. It was worth all the effort on everyone's part! I hope the house and garden is featured in a book one day. (I have started taking preliminary pix of grand old houses and their gardens for a mock-up, but don't have much time to do another book, so hoping someone else writes it!) I met with Julie Gibbs a few weeks ago; she's lovely and taking on new authors so do approach her if you decide to do your own book. Will email separately. xx

    1. You'd love the museum Janelle - definitely put it on your list to visit next time you're here. It's not only a stunning collection but the house itself really shows his personality and interests which makes it a more complete experience (compared to seeing these things in a more standard museum setting). Your next book sounds lovely! A book on the hills gardens and houses would be a definite winner, there are so many lovely ones up there. Take care x

  6. so much to comment on - garden looks great, you are very good at doing hair! octopus not scary to me but i heard they are so much more complicated than we know. they have several brains and hearts. if i visit Adelaide i need to go to that place. I need to get the builder in bc there are so many little jobs it is not even funny but i can't bear the thought of making endless cups of tea and humouring them acting like all their jokes are funny. I do want to read the rock book and will get around to it! I hate when you google a dress or shoes and they follow you around everywhere! xx

    1. I think the messiness hid my inability to do a decent bun!!
      You really need to come for a visit - you'd love the museum, plus the food stuff here is right up your alley N.
      I have made a rule and never do cups of tea. I know that doesn't seem nice to some people, but I am too busy to start acting as tea lady all day to builders, and then kitchen slave at night for the family!! By not doing anything there are no expectations. I can understand how that might not go down well in the UK though, as it seems like it's culturally entrenched.
      I hate that too with Google. Usually it's sold out or too expensive and then I just see it in the ads for months... xx

  7. I loved this post!! You always cover so many interesting topics. You look gorgeous in your party pics. The De Gournay wall paper is to die for, as is the leopard print on that chair. I must try finding that Flair magazine, it looks fascinating. I have been looking for new sources of inspiration, so this might be just the thing. I must admit, I do find the octopus print a bit creepy, but I love the faded blue and white scheme you put together, and also love the window nook with the pink accents. I plan to try out the recipe for the Vietnamese curry, as I got a slow cooker recently, but the only thing I have tried so far is a basic beef & potato stew. Take care - Louise

    1. Flair is the best mag Louise, and perfect inspiration, even if it did make me sort of long for the old school glamour of the past - there are certainly no celebrity or plastic surgery articles in it!
      Try the recipe, I'm sure you'll love it xx

  8. Hello Heidi,

    Those ads made my day, thank you. I've yet to sign up to FB or IG. Now I know what I'm missing.

    Your garden looks lush and lovely. I was wondering how you address the watering needs of your box and succulent as I would imagine the box would require more water than the succulent (or maybe not)? I need to find a trailing succulent to under plant with a cordyline, thank you.

    You look smashing, both the hair and the dress, for your evening out at the ball. I'm sure you danced the night away.

    1. Aren't those ads ridiculous?! Perhaps I'm an Asian, Muslim, Gay woman who has recently stopped breastfeeding according to Instagram??! I have to say it amuses me no end to see what they think I'll be interested in. So far nothing that I actually am.
      I have a slow dripper on the box ball, and nothing on the succulent. The drainage in the pot isn't great, so I'm hopeful that it won't get too boggy in Winter. We'll see how it goes. x

  9. So much to love about this post Heidi. Everything from the fab party pics and yummy recipe to the gorgeous window seat. Your garden is looking magnificent. Must check out the museum in North Adelaide - I wasn't aware of it. It's been very busy here - my youngest son turned 21 and had two parties at home - one for friends (cocktail style) and a sit-down dinner for 34 family!! I cooked and cleaned for days like a possessed woman! Combined with a family wedding and interstate guests 10 days later, it has been frantic. My husband will be away overseas next week so I am looking forward to a rest! Hope everyone is well there. Enjoy the long-weekend. Jo xx

    1. Definitely put the museum on a list of things to do Jo, it really is fantastic.
      Wow - party central at your house!! It sounds like a lot of work, and I think you definitely earned a break. Hope it was all a big success and you enjoyed your week off of cooking xx

  10. So cold.
    I love the red of the Autumn leaves too.
    That Viet hotpot looks delish, do your kids eat it?
    I get some very odd targeted ads. Though most of it for athletic apparel and period underwear.
    You look classy as hell :)

    1. Yes, kids like the Vietnamese curry, as long as I don't put in the full chilli amount. The tastes are quite fresh and zingy so they don't think of it as 'spicy'.
      Funny re your ads! They're spot on with the athletic apparel though... you've clearly tipped the balance with the work out photos C!
      Classy as Hell is my new motto :) x

  11. I'm late to the comments again Heidi... I love your round up posts. The museum looks so interesting (I particularly love the desk chair in your first photo - how unique). The beach house looks like perfection Heidi... I have so enjoyed seeing all of your projects on instagram. I seem to have gone through a period of no add but loads and loads in the last week or so, including some from the Labour party! So creepy as I don't mix social media and politics!
    The updo and outfit look amazing... well done! I don't really have many black tie events to go to but we've got one coming up in September so I have been looking through the Matches sale to see if I can find something to wear. Black tie is tricky because the cost per wear ends up being so much higher than day dresses... xx

    1. That chair is so lovely, but some of the art was divine.
      That's interesting that the Labour party were advertising so heavily on social media - they had a big swing from the youth vote - wonder if it was influenced by social media?
      I know what you mean about the clothes factor and black tie - I do fine The Outnet can be a good source though. Or Vestiere or ebay can throw up something good every now and again. They don't get worn much at all! xx

    2. Creepy thing I've started getting on Hotmail- messages about how I can go about getting permits to carrying a gun legally! Shows just how wrongly they can get people! Can you imagine me as a gun toting granny?! Am so supportive of our gun control legislation. Think it was the best thing John Howard ever did. Pammie

  12. Oh my , I develop ASHE when I look at pics of your house (Acute Serious House Envy). Soooooo lovely!!!
    I heard in an interview recently that Peter Weir made his big breakthrough on Picnic at Hanging Rock, and that he was just a wee lad at the ABC at time. Anyone who has watched the movie will not escape those haunting pan-pipes!! What is you theory about the disappearance?

    Will make it down to fair Adelaide one of these days, and will take in the museum.

    Thanks Heidi for a lovely post. Those ads are hilarious.


    1. You're very kind K! Unfortunately I get distracted by all the mess around the place at the moment due to lack of completion of the garage - I can't wait for it to be finished and move all of the junk into it!!
      With Picnic, I think that it was fiction. But I think that Joan based it on "ghost stories" if you like of girls disappearing in the bush (getting lost/ abducted), plus the fact that Hanging Rock was used by bushrangers for a period of time and has a slightly sinister feel to it. There was a picnic by the girl's school joan attended that she read about in the school magazine that further added to 'ghost' stories, but no one went missing. I think it probably served her well to keep up the mystery and "is it real" thing to add to the books allure.
      The museum is definitely worth a trip! x

  13. Oh one more thing- I stumbled upon an amazing blog that you may like. It features the restoration of a chateau in the south of France by a Perth couple

    1. Thanks for the tip - they're on my side bar! x

  14. You have a wide and beautiful garden! I can imagine a fun barbecue party out there. The window seat is also lovely and inviting! The lighting is perfect for when you'd like to read a book. I'm glad I haven't seen some weird ads in my Instagram and Facebook feeds yet. Or maybe I just haven't noticed since I just ignore them. Though I agree, I think we're still safe from these 2 social media sites. Let's just always take precaution when using the Internet.

  15. The CD dress & updo 11/10 on the Brisbane scale.


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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on
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