The Garden Girl
The story behind Embrace Garden Designs
Our founder, Emma Rice, grew up surrounded by a family of avid gardeners. Emma spent much of her childhood immersed in the clouds of pale pink blooms of old fashioned roses and heady spring perfumes. Gardens were a place of comfort and a sanctuary, where memories were made and families were celebrated.
Now a mother of three, Emma still makes sure she finds time to unwind and be peaceful in the garden. To feel embraced by being mindful and taking time for herself.
Gardens are crucial for families. Not only places where children play and vegies grow, they connect us to the earth, providing us with spaces of peacefulness and nurturing, celebration and remembrance.
Gardens have always been an integral part of my life. As a child, I would spend hours studying the tiny goings on – the unfurling of petals and emerging of bulbs.
Everything happened in slow motion.
Gardens were also a place for celebration – Uncles and Aunts were married by a sea of pink Azalea, Christmas lunches were held beneath branches laden with plums, birthdays were spent frolicking on manicured lawns & my children all had their naming days surrounded by flowers and foliage.
For many years, my family and I enjoyed a garden I designed and planned around them. Where my daughter took her first steps and my sons learned to back flip on the trampoline, shoot hoops at the ring and watch the blackbirds build their nests each spring.
Despite the onslaught from children and chickens, the garden was beautiful and I spent all my spare time tending it.
As circumstance changed, we left this house and completely on purpose, I lived in a house with no garden; just a courtyard bereft of vegetation – so I could focus all my energies on my children and my business.
Without a garden there was no indication of the change of seasons. There was no promise of spring and it slipped through unnoticed into the brief Melbourne summer furnace. There was no brilliant celebration of fall and I missed winter stealing the colour from autumn trees.
I had no excuse to go wandering; saving earthworms or collecting seed heads. No distractions. No nurturing of a garden and no nurturing of self.
It wasn’t until I moved into my current home, a dear little red brick cottage with a perfect sized garden that I came to understand; I nurture myself when I am connected to a garden.
So….I collected seaweed from the local beach and I made a seaweed tea – medicine for soil and plants. I churned the soil with my bunnies manure, my composted food scraps, bags full of blood and bone and chook poo. I enriched the soil with these pungeant goodies – I’ve watched the glorious return of worms – the Florence Nightingales of the soil. I planned, planted and was patient, watered, wandered and waited….
The fig tree is now weighed down with its emerald summer jewels and all the bits and pieces of plants donated by friends, clients and neighbours, are thriving. Birds furtively dart about awaiting their morning vegemite crusts.
I enjoy the way it all happens in slow motion, and I too seem to slow down and completely immerse myself in whatever garden project I’m working on. To use the much coined term: I am ‘mindful’ in the garden
I can now sit in my garden, in my sanctuary, a cup of tea in hand. Here I snatch brief and peaceful moment to rest and reflect. Recuperating my energy before I’m back into the frantic pace of life.
I hope you too have a garden sanctuary to rest your mind in.
Emma Rice – The Garden Girl.
Inside Out Magazine
One of Embrace Garden Design’s transformations has been featured in Inside Out Magazine.
My daughter enjoys connecting with nature