Get-togethers, goodie bags and gardens

How are you feeling on this fine day? I hope your week ahead is looking more glorious and grand, rather than gruelling and grouchy (goodness knows we all need a bit more of the former and a lot less of the latter).

Speaking of grand things … in the company of my lovely friend Kylie, last Friday night I headed off to a Brisbane blogger’s get-together and had a lovely time catching up with friends, meeting some new creative folk, and waving hello and goodbye to those I didn’t quite get a chance to meet. Sometimes get-togethers are a bit like that – there’s lots of conversation to be had, but not always the time to share that chatter with everyone.

Given that this was a gathering for creative bloggers, there was the opportunity for those attending to contribute something to a goodie bag (as an aside: I think goodie bags are wonderful things for every social occasion). Just look at the loveliness that was contained within my full-to-the-brim goodie bag – I feel very spoilt indeed! I’m thinking it will take me quite some time to work through all the wonderful pieces in this collection.

Goodie bag contents from the ABCD Brisbane Blogger Meet-up

While I don’t work creatively with my hands every day (unless you can count typing?), I thought it would be fun to make something unique for the goodie bag. After much thinking and planning, I came up with an idea for an ‘Instant Herb Garden’. It contains a ready-made collection of mixed seeds within a miniature glass bottle, and an instruction sheet I wrote to get anyone well on the way to growing their very own herb garden (even if there isn’t much garden space available … a pot or two on a balcony or windowsill is all that is needed).

Instant Herb Garden ... the perfect way to get started

I had so much fun putting these together, I’m thinking of making up more of these and perhaps selling them in the future … what do you think? I already have lots of idea for other ‘Instant Gardens’ that could be made in a similar way … hmmm, I love it when creativity is sparked by random events.

I ended up making three extra ‘Instant Herb Garden Kits’ in this batch – perhaps you’d like to have one of your own? Given that the kit contains plant seeds, I can only offer these to readers within Australia (overseas readers, don’t worry I have anotherΒ wonderfulΒ giveaway planned for later this week).

So if you would like to receive your very own ‘Instant Herb Garden’, just leave me a comment below, telling me what you’d like to grow in your garden – on Friday I’ll draw three names at random. For everyone else, perhaps you’d instead like to tell me about a creative project you’ve recently undertaken? (I love being inspired by all your wonderful talents). Have a lovely start to the week!


  1. Sandrine

    Hi Tracey, What a beautiful bag of goodies!!One thing on my wish list is to actually go to one of them, once I live closer to the city!!Your creative idea is excellent!I love the little jar, beautiful writing!Gorgeous.
    So far I have been terribly unsuccessful at growing things…I would be terrify it would not work with me!!But I have some hope and I would love to try a little herb and veges garden patch at the new house but will have to work on preparing soil etc first!and put my green thumb on too :)LOL
    Hope your week will be a little more peaceful than your past one…
    Take care!
    Sandrine xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Sandrine – I agree … I felt very spoilt receiving such a lovely collection of goodies! πŸ™‚
      I would definitely recommend coming along to a blog meet … living a bit closer to the city has so many extra little social benefits.

      I’m so glad you liked my little ‘instant herb garden’ idea … they were lots of fun to make.
      More often than not I tend to be a shocking gardener, but sometimes despite my lack of green skills … things seem to grow. Most of the herbs I’ve grown seem to be relatively fool-proof. I’m sure once you settle in to your new house you’ll be tempted to try a herb and vege garden patch … starting small is the key I think! πŸ™‚

      I’m very much enjoying this extra long weekend … I hope the same is true for you! xx

  2. jan

    You remind me that I started years ago with one plant each of lavender, sage, oregano, and rosemary. Now I have an herb jungle that I have to cut back every year or they invade the yard and attack the dogs. One of the few disadvantages of a climate with no killing frosts.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – Oh a herb jungle is so easy to get to, isn’t it? Some of them go a bit feral … especially that oregano and rosemary. Still, I am impressed by anything that manages to survive even my inferior gardening ‘skills’. At least they’re a better kind of green than thorny weeds! πŸ˜‰

  3. Erika Lee Sears

    What a great idea! I have a horrible gardener but love the idea of little packs of herbs. πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – Thanks! They were lots of fun … but a little tricky to get the seeds into the tiny little bottles! πŸ˜‰
      I figure herbs are useful things for most people to grow.

  4. Makeminemidcentury

    What a great idea for an inclusion in the bag?
    I wanted to go, but had an exam the next day. And the thought of contributing something had me stumped. I’m not creative in the slightest.
    Your little herb-starter is so cute! Who did you meet? I’m dying to know!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi MMMC – I’m glad you think my instant herb gardens were great … I definitely had to get my creative mind thinking to come up with a decent goodie bag inclusion. I think you’d surprise yourself with figuring out a creative idea … Hey, if I could do it … anyone can! πŸ™‚

      What a shame you had an exam the next day and couldn’t come along … I hope the exam treated you very well indeed! πŸ™‚ … You’ll hopefully be able to make it along to the next one (I’d love to meet you!).

      Gosh, there were so many lovely ladies there on the night … it all ended up a bit of a whirlwind of names, faces and blogs … but it was fantastic to start putting real life faces to blogs … a reminder of how nice it can be when the virtual and real world collide! πŸ™‚

  5. Mel

    It’s a beautiful day here πŸ™‚ And the kids are off school for the Easter break, so we’re enjoying a happy combination of a quiet but useful day, while making plans for fun busy times over the next couple of weeks!

    I adore your little herb garden, and I think the whole idea is a goer, good for you πŸ™‚ No good for me of course, being in the UK (and also being the very opposite of green-fingered…..!) but good luck to your more local commenters! xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mel – Oh it sounds like you’ve been enjoying some lovely weather … I hope the kids are making the most of the holidays … there’s something lovely about that balance between relaxation and productivity. I hope you manage to stay cool, calm and collected too! πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts on my instant herb garden … they’ve certainly given me food for thought. It’s such a shame I couldn’t send these to all my lovely readers … but hopefully you’ll be tempted to enter my latest giveaway!?! πŸ™‚

  6. Linda @ Heartfire At Home

    You’ve gotta love a good goodie bag…. little pots of treasure! All the things in your pic look gorgeous, and the mixed herb seeds were an inspired idea!

    I have 3 half barrels (those huge wine barrels/kegs cut in half) in my garden that I bought ages ago and which are awaiting either an influx of succulents or herbs. I have to get around to doing something with them. I’m on holidays at the moment, so I should get my backside into gear and make use of them.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Linda – I very much love a wonderful goodie bag … it’s so exciting to get home and discover all the treats which are held within … some things never change from childhood! πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you like my instant herb gardens … hopefully some new herbs will come to life because of them.

      Oh, the half barrels you have in your garden sounds like a great idea to get growing with a range of green goodness. But don’t be too productive on your holidays … you need to fit in lots of rest, relaxation and creativity as well! πŸ™‚

  7. Studio MME

    It sounds like the meet-up was so much fun!! I think the garden idea is really great. You could center different types around different foods, like Italian ‘instant gardens’ with basil and oregano and tomatoes, etc. I can’t wait to see your giveaway!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Megan – It was a lovely get together … I’ve never gone along to one of these before, so it was a new and very nice experience.

      I’m happy to know you like my garden idea … like yourself, I was thinking you could have lots of different ‘gardens’ built around different meals … in fact, I came close to doing an ‘instant pasta sauce’ instead of the ‘instant herb garden’ … my mind is working over time with different options.

      PS. I hope you’ll enter my latest giveaway … it’s open to everyone!! πŸ˜€

  8. Christine

    What a perfect goodie-glass you have made. And best of luck to all who enters (I would, but–alas–I am over-seas πŸ™‚
    That gettogether sounds like the perfect thing. So much fun. Meeting with other creative spirits really rocks :-))
    Hope you had a sweet Monday, and that the rest of the week with bring you laughs and love πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Christine – Nawww, thank you! You are so sweet to be so kind. I’m sorry my herb garden giveaway wasn’t available to overseas readers, but my latest giveaway has now launched and is open to all. So hopefully you’ll see something in there to tempt you! πŸ™‚

      I agree, meeting up with creative people always brings renewed energy and a lovely touch of inspiration.

      I think your well wishes for my week ahead certainly helped … I’m currently enjoying this lovely long weekend, and taking some time to just rest and relax.

      Take care.

  9. Camila F.

    You’re so right, goodie bags are wonderful in any occasion. This one looks amazing! Also love the instant herb garden, what a sweet idea. Good luck to all australian readers. I’ve been baking brownies, would that count as a “creative project”? πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Camila – Yes, yes! Goodie bags should be used on many more social occasions!! πŸ™‚
      This one was certainly full to the brim with wonderful things … I can’t wait to work my way through all the loveliness inside.

      Thanks for your kind words on my ‘instant herb garden’ … it was fun to make.
      I would definitely count ‘baking brownies’ as a creative project … baking and making are a way of making something from nothing, and that sounds pretty creative to me! πŸ™‚

  10. fairchildstreet

    Love the creative showbag, great idea. Your creative project is wonderful. My current creative project is for me only, I am trying to do an art journal. You will see the link in the blogs I visit, Cathy Michaels, she does wonderful Art Journals. Charmaine

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Charmaine – Oh I very much like your way of calling the goodie bag a creative showbag … that’s fantastic, and that’s precisely what it is! πŸ™‚

      Doing an art journal sounds like a creative project of the very highest order … I’m going to have to look at your blog links and discover more about the wonderful world of art journalling … I do hope you share yours one day! πŸ™‚

  11. hila

    I’ve always wanted to grow roses, seems mundane, but they’re so classic and beautiful.

    and what a sweet idea this is tracey!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Hila – Oh yes, I completely agree with you … growing roses is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve always thought perhaps they’re too much work for someone as impatient and unskilled in the garden as me! πŸ˜‰
      Fully established rose gardens always look incredible. I think I grew up dreaming of them by reading so many novels based in proper English gardens! πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you thought my herb garden was sweet … thank you! πŸ˜€

  12. belinda/gretchenmist

    how cool is that goodies bag! sounds like a good night. it’s nice to leave feeling like you could’ve chatted to more people!!
    i know 2 boys who’d love this project!! avid gardeners.
    there’s rosmary, thyme and sage here πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Belinda – I think goodie bags are wonderful creations … and this one was certainly a wonder to behold! πŸ™‚
      It’s always a successful event when you could have chatted away many more hours … sadly I seem to be tired more often than not these days … especially on a Friday night! Ha! πŸ˜‰

      Oh how lovely your boys are avid gardeners … growing up with a love of the outdoors and the ability to grow things are two most wonderful life gifts.

  13. Krystal/Village

    I SO wish I lived by you! This is so cute!!! I love the idea πŸ™‚ It’s a great favor, I might have to copy you, but of course, mine will decidedly not look as cute πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Krystal – It would be wonderful if you lived close by! Then I could see some of your grand adventures first hand! πŸ˜‰
      I’m so glad you liked my instant herb garden idea … and I shall take it as flattery that you think the idea is good enough to copy! πŸ™‚

  14. sarah

    Your get together sounds wonderful what a fab idea. The goody bag looks amazing and I love your instant herb garden, a great idea. I just made up a little gift set of easy veg to grow for a friend who wanted to create a balcony veg plot, I must say I had great fun putting all the seeds and sets together! x

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Sarah – It was fun to get together with other local bloggers, and find out a bit more abou them (and also discover some new blogs too).

      The goodie bag was quite incredible for the sheer amount of wonderful goodies that it contained. I’m so glad you thought my instant herb garden idea was a good one! πŸ™‚

      I think the easy grow vege set you put together for a friend sounds like a wonderful idea too … that’s such a fabulous gift to receive! What a wonderful friend you must be! πŸ˜€

  15. Galit

    Sounds like an awesome evening!!
    I wish to participate in one of those get-togethers! Should be so great to meet face-to-afce with some of my favorite people!!
    You’re idea is precious Tracey!!! Wonderful! I would be so happy to have one of those!
    We have a tiny bit of a garden and I’m trying to grow mainly herbs but unfortunately, very unsuccessfully!!
    The mix between me not being very dedicated and the crazy weather doesn’t give the little sprouts a chance…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Galit – It was a fabulous evening to be a part of. It is wonderful to meet up with people ‘in person’ – especially when you meet people you’ve already come to know online. We’ll have to organise an inter-state bloggers get together some time! πŸ˜‰

      I’m so glad you liked my instant herb garden idea … I must admit that at first I was a little stumped as to what I could create for the goodie bag, and after a few early failures, this idea actually worked! πŸ™‚

      I’m generally quite unsuccessful in the garden too … but some herbs and even some fruit plants seem to live on despite my laziness! πŸ˜‰

  16. Gabrielle Bryden

    Wonderful bag of goodies πŸ™‚ I seem to be in a creative hole at the moment – especially around my garden and house in general – I blame it on the floods and other catastrophes and just feel like concentrating on basic survival at the moment. What I might do is plant some sunflower seeds to boost my mood. My lemonade tree is doing well (not through any effort of mine I must admit) though and I’ll post some photos soon. I love your instant herb garden idea.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – I know what you mean about that ‘creative hole’ … I seem to get that way every once in a while, and I can definitely understand why the events of this year have made you feel more introspective and ‘survival focussed’ than usual (I’ve been much the same way). Hopefully things will get back on track again soon.

      Sunflowers are beautiful plants, I really should try to grow some too … they are so ‘happy’ when they bloom.
      I really love your lemonade tree, so I’m happy to hear it’s doing so well. I love plants that tend to just grow themselves … there should be more of it in the garden I think! πŸ˜‰

  17. previously owned

    Herb Garden?! Have you been in my mind? I have been obsessing over building one on my balcony (since I live in a tiny apt) It’s so nice that each person had to give a goodie bag! Looks like such a nice time.


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Fi – Haha, I promise I haven’t been snooping around in your mind … perhaps it’s just a case of ‘great minds thinking alike’? I’ve been growing a little herb garden on my back balcony, so if I can do it there is definitely hope for you too! πŸ™‚

      I think the goodie bag idea was lovely too … it’s wonderful to walk away from a nice evening with even more loveliness. πŸ™‚

      I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  18. Melanie

    What a fabulous bag of goodies! I’m bummed I missed this get together, hopefully I’ll make it to the next one.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Melanie – Oh yes, what a shame you missed this get together … I do hope you’ll be able to come along to the next one. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on receiving a lovely goodie bag like this?! πŸ™‚
      (… oh, and meet all the wonderful bloggers too, of course!). πŸ˜‰

  19. ejorpin

    That goodies bag looks amazing! What a treat! And I love your instant garden ideas…pity I live so far away πŸ™

  20. Andrew

    Your instant herb garden gift rocks!! m/ O.O!

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