Plastic Free July – Single use plastic bags

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The first Australian town to completely ban non-biodegradable plastic bags was Coles Bay in Tasmania, back in 2003.

In 2013, Tasmania banned single use light weight plastic bags. So we were dropped straight into the expectation of taking our own reusable bags to shops and supermarkets when we moved here. We have a stash of bags in the boot of our car, I have a couple in a drawer at work and I have a few … ok… lots of canvas bags at home that I swap about and use regularly.

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I am turning into a bag lady. My Mum has always carried her own shopping bags. I now appreciate the habits of previous generations. I remember going to local shops with my Nana, where the greengrocer would weigh and drop produce into the bottom of her shopping bag, potatoes first, then carrots and other heavy vegetables, lighter or fragile fruit and salad on the top. No plastic bags, no separation, just occasional paper bags.

A few retailers in Tasmania offer reusable plastic bags. Many offer paper bags.

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Saying no to single use plastic bags is an easy challenge for me to tick.

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Plastic Free July

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I’ve signed up to be a part of “Plastic Free July”.

The campaign started in Western Australia in 2011. Last year, 120 million people across the globe took part in the challenge, across 177 countries.

I won’t be able to be totally plastic free but I can begin by simply saying no to the top four most prolific single-use plastics:
~ plastic bags
~ water bottles
~ take away coffee cups
~ plastic straws

I hope the month will make me take notice of the plastics I do buy, what habits I can change or products I can switch to reduce our overall household waste, to reduce our recycle bin and make a contribution to tackling the worlds plastic pollution problem.

Here is a link to their website for more information, suggestions or to sign up for the challenge.

Our Garden – June

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Our front garden has become more colourful this month with this show of nemesia flowers.
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I have pruned the half dozen rose bushes and had some pretty blooms in a vase indoors.
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We planted a herb pot on our balcony which is going well. Mint, thyme and coriander were established plants. The rocket seeds in the top section are growing nicely.DSC03886IMG_3550

In the back garden we have kept it tidy. I planted a few seeds in our veggie patch. The spinach is looking strong, carrots and Romanesco broccoli were sown a few weeks later so have yet to appear.
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I cut back a rosemary bush and harvested some rhubarb. There wasn’t enough for a pie or crumble so I chose to make a rhubarb relish, which we will enjoy with cheese and biscuits.
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We have a compost bin again and are happy to make productive use of our food waste.IMG_E2923

It’s been a relaxed and pleasurable month in our garden 🙂

Changing Seasons – June

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We have been in our new house for two months. June has brought us bedroom furniture and dining chairs. (We are still waiting for a three seater sofa.) We’ve put pictures on the walls and decorated bland beige lightshades with coloured twine. The house has become a home.

June has been a month of contrasts. Frosty mornings and mild sunny days. Walks on our snow covered mountain, walks on our new local beach.
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June in Hobart is dominated but a winter festival “Dark Mofo”, when the city paints itself red, when weird and wonderful public art, music shows, exhibitions and a Winter Feast pops up at numerous locations around the city.

June has seen new and unexpected flowers appear in our garden, but I will write a separate post about our garden this month.IMG_E3510

Oh and June brought me an surprise guest in our hall when I got home from work.

I’ll end with this fun pic, “admiring the view”.
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I’m linking this to Su’s monthly challenge at Changing Seasons

Balcony Pots

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One of the first things we wanted to do when we moved, was buy pots for our balcony. I visited a local nursery to get advice for our windy, coastal location. We chose these pots and planted violas and Rhaphiolepis (Indian hawthorn). They are thriving and look good with our ceramic poppies from The Tower of London.
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Apparently these bushes are “one of the most bulletproof shrubs around”. As they mature they will have these tiny white flowers.

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Our New Garden

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This is the garden we’ve acquired with our new home. African daisies are in full flower, in various colours. DSC03843DSC03838DSC03840

There are a couple of flower beds in front of the house. One easy care bed with rosemary bushes. One beside the drive with roses, small azaleas, lilies and other as yet unidentified plants. IMG_2873IMG_3268A

At the back, there is a large wooden deck area, with the real garden behind the hedge. When we viewed the house the two raised vegetable beds were full, but they were empty when we moved in. So we are starting from scratch in those beds.IMG_2542AIMG_2546IMG_2473image

On the right hand side of the decking there are olive trees and one citrus bush. The lemons had been picked before we moved in but olives are maturing on at least one tree.IMG_2543IMG_2545

We are happy that there is no lawn and we won’t need a mower. As this is the first garden we’ve had in Australia, we had no tools or equipment. We only had a hand trowel for our balcony herb box in our rental place. So we have purchased gloves, secateurs, watering can and a hose to begin our new garden journey.

I’m looking forward to the coming months, to see what this garden will reveal. The first year will be full of surprises.

Does anyone know what this lovely soft leave bush might be?DSC03845

Back to blogging from a new house

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It’s been a few months since I wrote on this blog. I subconsciously withdrew from social media, I took fewer photos whilst our life became busy with the process of house hunting.

After four years living in Tasmania, we have bought a home here. It was a big decision, more so for me, with my connections to the UK, easier for my Aussie husband. We love it here, the island, the landscape, the Hobart lifestyle, the climate, the place, the people. So it feels right to commit to life here.

House hunting became a full time hobby, checking online for new listings, visiting “open house” inspections every weekend. There are so many designs and styles of house here, so many choices and options. We gradually narrowed down our wish list. When we had purchased previous homes, we had strict limitations – transport links for commuting to London when we were “twenty somethings” – location to our daughters school when we moved for the “parents of teenagers” stage.

Now, it’s just us, what did we want? What suburbs appealed to us? Could we afford a water view?

Our new home is across the River Derwent so we now have views of the river and Mount Wellington. We have an “upside down” house, with bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs, living rooms upstairs with balcony.

We have a garden to look after, so that might become the new focus of my blog as I see what surprises the garden has in store over the coming months.

Today seems a good day to post a few photos. There was snow on the mountain for the first time this season.

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