Plant stylist and Adelaide’s go-to garden guru Emma Sadie Thomson has a very special super power; everything she touches turns to green! Whether it’s lending her green thumb to the interiors of the city’s best venues or selling her indoor plants, pots and hangings in her collaborative workshop studio, Ensemble, it comes naturally to Emma.
We chat with her about life with her 18 month old daughter Frankie, and how having a toddler running around has changed her perspective, as well as getting some top tips about encouraging our kids to enjoy growing in the garden!
Tell us how your life and career has changed post becoming a mother?
Priorities change, I’ve changed and different issues seem to take precedence over those that once did prior to becoming a mother. It’s a juggle balancing work life and being a mum and at times very challenging. I have found that by being self-employed and able to work part from home, it has given me the option of being very flexible which has certainly helped me find balance. Fitting in work while she naps, deciding whether you work / rest / do that mountain of washing or take some time out for yourself while you have this short window of time to yourself. Frances is now 18 months and is very BUSY! I have found that trying to create routine makes life much easier and not so overwhelming. I try and have set days where I work and then allow myself to have days off where I am home with Frances. Life has certainly changed in every way, but a change for the better and in a way I couldn’t imagine.
What types of things do you do with Frankie to teach her about nature?
We head outside and spend time in the garden as much as we can, anything from picking and smelling flowers to jumping in puddles. Kids love being outdoors and in nature. If you don’t have a big back yard head out to the park.
Gardening with children provides them with skills to help with development. One aspect of physical development is sensory stimulation that they can experience in the garden, from feeling the texture of the leaves, rubbing their hands in the soil, as well as smelling the flowers and leaves.
What are your top 5 indoor plant varieties?
- Devils Ivy: an easy care plant that cascades and trails. Easy for beginners
- Ficus Burgundy: the deep burgundy foliage is a great alternative
- Monstera delicosa: an all-time favourite, a popular one amongst plant fanatics and this fast growing plant can make a great feature plant.
- Hoya carnosa: These have the most amazing flowers.
- Oxalis Triangularis: these look like the most amazing purple butterflies, the leaves also close up when it gets dark.
We know that you have a VERY GREEN thumb, what are your top tips for keeping plants inside alive?
Water, Water Water – be mindful of watering and over watering is a more common killer than under watering. You can even get yourself a water meter to use. Generally we water plants every fortnight and give them a really good drink.
EMMA’S TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR KIDS IN TO GARDENING
- Kids love growing things, especially things that they can pick and eat. Try growing some fruit and vegetables. Some great ones are things like: strawberries, snow peas, carrots. Things they can pick and eat straight away.
- Get your children some of their own garden tools / basket to pick things
- Give them room to grow. Designate a portion of the garden, a container, or other space for children to create their very own garden.
Images: Gretl Watson-Blazewicz