Landscape design – Digging Deep and getting the ground work right - index

Landscape design – Digging Deep and getting the ground work right

My kids realised pretty early on in their lives that I was the “20 questions Mum”.  In fact they warn their friends before meeting me for the first time!

I was always a ‘curious type’ however my profession as a landscape designer has highlighted the importance of asking the right questions up front to create the best plan for your favourite plants to grow and thrive in.

Before embarking on any outdoor design, big or small, I need to know “why, who, what, how and when”!

Sometimes all the questions asked seem a bit O.T.T, however if you don’t ask, the end result just won’t fit the users, project purpose or challenges of the site.

All the variants keep a landscape designer’s job very interesting indeed, as do the extreme seasonal changes that a garden is a ‘first responder to’.

Depending on where you are up to in life, your ‘driver’ for creating & keeping a garden will change as will your free time & resources for construction and maintenance.  These are the puzzle pieces that need to be put together in the right order to plan and build a garden from the ground up.  You don’t need to waste time planting the wrong things in the wrong place.

Call a landscape designer to get your ‘little piece of heaven’ growing right from the very start.

Road Trip – On The Art Trail From Eugowra To Grenfell

Road Trip Part two – Art and Culture itinerary

As part of our Art trail series, Eugowra to Grenfell was the second stop in our itinerary – a further 50 minutes to the Grenfell Painted Silo by Heesco.

If you are looking for school holiday activities that are fun for the entire family, stimulating visually, as well as budget friendly, then exploring the art and culture on a road trip in the Central West will tick those boxes. There is lots of discover in each of the quaint and heritage towns in the region too, which you can plan as a day trip or plan it as a staycation.

We experienced this recently with a few friends with children aged between 7-14 years which is ideal for this itinerary. All they need is a little imagination and the day will be golden.

There are few items you can prepare and pack to make the journey even more engaging.

To encourage your children to get into the mindfulness of art and culture, talking about colour as a way of seeing through new eyes before you set off is a good way to set the tone for the road trip. A guided imagery engaging all the senses (you could be imaginative and describe any story), ending with a colour glowing in a woman’s palm can be facilitated using chalk pastels or even paint colour charts. A range of 72 colours is ideal so that each person can choose their colour and spends the day looking for their colour as part of their journey.

Arrive in Grenfell

The distance to Grenfell from Eugowra is approximately 50 minutes by car. Follow the Gooloogong road to take in some of the beautiful scenery and historic buildings to the statute of Henry Lawson in the main street of Grenfell.  You can key in ‘Grenfell Painted Silo by Heesco‘ in Google maps to get there or find it with all the region’s other public art on Culture Maps Central NSW.


At Henry Lawson sculpture, you can have some fun and interact with him and take a selfie.

A 15 minute walk will take you to ‘Grenfell Painted Silo by Heesco‘ passing by the sculptures around the Grenfell Railway Station at 36 West Street, Grenfell.

The mural is one of several painted silos in New South Wales. These are immense and you can read up about the artist and kids can try and guess how many spray cans of paint it took to create this art.

Food and Drink stop

In town Taylor Park on Weddin Street opposite the Post Office building is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. It is leafy with a beautiful play area for kids. There are good bathroom facilities here too.

There a number of food establishments in Main Street offering a variety of different foods.

If you need to cool off, there is the Grenfell Aquatic Centre only a few minutes up the road by car on Forbes and Melyra Streets.

From here you can return back to Orange via Carcoar; see link here or continue on to Dubbo or somewhere within the Central West to explore the art and culture trail. Refer to Culture Maps, Central NSW for more inspiration.

Blayney Skatepark and Adventure Playground – Central West, NSW

Allow me to start by saying that if you have children that won’t sit still and always up for the next adventure, then read on…

Blayney is a small village about 30 minutes southeast from Orange and 30 minutes southwest of Bathurst by car.  There are  charming historical buildings nearby and if it’s at the right time of year; (around end of September/October) you might spot some bright yellow canola fields along the road when driving via Millthorpe.

The Skatepark is situated in Heritage Park. This is a picture perfect destination for a day trip so pack a picnic and bring the entire family including your dogs (there is a dog-friendly area where you can let them off the leash).

Please note, if you have young children, you need to watch them at all times as there is water in ponds although certainly not suitable for swimming. If you are counting on take-away, there is very little open on a Sunday.

Our boys jumped out the car so fast with excitement that they beat our dogs to discover this huge playground. It has been well designed with multiple pieces of equipment to play on with shade sails. The skate park was opened late 2018 and has been well maintained looking virtually new.

You can bring your scooter, skateboard or bike as the surface is super smooth. The bowl design is not too big for the younger kids to tweens.

There are bike paths not far away as well and if you love soaking up nature; you could spot up to fifteen species of birds in the area.

The toilets are not bad, although I always bring tissues and hand sanitiser where ever I go.

Heritage park is on the corner of Adelaide and Martha Streets.

Grip it-n-Rip It!

Em & The Wild Things

If you’re looking for Emily Eckhard you’ll usually find her behind the lens of her camera. Talented photographer and business owner of Em & The Wild Things, Emily spends her days capturing some of the Central West community’s most memorable moments. Originally from Sydney, Emily moved from London all the way to Molong back in 2010. A a single mum to three gorgeous children and self proclaimed hopeless romantic who loves hiking, podcasts and reading, Emily chatted with us for a little business back chat!

What is it that you love about the art and culture scene in the Central West? 

There’s a lot of talent in the community and artist and creatives support each other.

What do you think makes the Central West unique?

Endless inspiration in our landscape. More physical space to create. It’s a smaller pond so everyone gets to know each other, and it doesn’t feel as cliquey or as exclusive as it might be in bigger city/region.

Tell us a little bit about your recent exhibition- what inspired it?

My last exhibition was called Tree stories. It was a group show with Fiona Barrett-Clark, Ingrid Kwong, Ingrid Bowen. We explored the beauty and mystery of trees through photography and paint. Creating our own narratives by looking at silhouettes and patterns, light and shade, and the intrinsic nature of our arboreal relationships.

What really inspires your photography?

Beauty, truth, and love. The way people feel about each other. The way I feel about the natural world.

How would you describe your photography in three words?

Romantic, Timeless, Cinematic.

What is your favourite time of year to photograph in our region?

Each season has its own charm, autumn gets the most attention, but winter gets my vote because of the fog and frost.

What’s currently on your camera card?

Weddings and families.

Where can people see your gorgeous photography?

You can buy my prints from Camera House in Orange, Lime and Stone in Molong and Warruga Shack Airbnb in Orange.

To see more of Emily’s amazing photography check out @emandthewildthings on Instagram or head to her website.