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I was speaking to someone the other day who declared that concrete homewares were on the way out. Internally, I went through a series of emotions (almost like the 12 stages of grief). I felt angry, sad, shocked, dismayed and of course, it ended in denial. In fact, I'm so far in denial that I'm going to outrightly declare that concrete homewares are still 100% on trend - and with no signs of going away.

Orchids at Garlands Florist, Surry HillsI really am a bad Sydney-sider. I continue to write blog posts that start with a "I can't believe this place has been under my nose the entire time" type vibe. It's sad but it's true, and it happened to me once again recently as I was strolling down Bourke Street in Surry Hills and saw the flora outside Garlands calling my name. I stopped for a moment, ensured my heart was still beating and high-tailed it in there - camera in hand, as always.

Low Maintenance Garden - Succulents in Terracotta PotsPlants are that demanding sometimes that I just lose interest in trying to keep them going all the time. Short of having a courtyard that resembles a cement museum, I had to find some low maintenance garden greenery to give my garden a low-budget pop. Half-an-hour in Flower Power was all it took to get these hardy babies a new home (and they're still alive!). Total spend on plants and soil was around $60.

Garden Life Redfern - Plants in Orange and Gold PotsI've always thought that the garden should be a little out of control, a bit untamed, a tad random and not too thought-out. I had never considered though - until my trip to Garden Life in Redfern - that it could also be a place for humour and fun. Needless to say, after hitting this Cleveland Street haven and eyeing off their wares, I am well and truly eager to make the garden a giggle-fest!

The Norfolk Surry Hills Beer GardenConfession time: I've lived in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for well over six years and prior to last weekend I had not been to The Norfolk. Even after its killer makeover in December 2010 (I know, cuff me and throw away the key). Plenty of people had told me how much I would love the beer garden there - and after sitting in it for a few hours recently, they weren't wrong. Its laid-back, mismatched retro vibe is right up my alley (as are the cocktails)!