The Alchemy of SWC: The Natural Connection

 
Nature is a constant for the Southern Wild Co team. It seeps into every aspect of our day and reverberates in all that we produce. From dawn rising to the moment when the vast country sky is shrouded in inky darkness, we observe, admire and respect Mother Nature’s beauty. Whether we find ourselves lost in an endless horizon or our attention is caught by the smallest insect scurrying along, the natural environment is so powerful in its ability to transport us. Knowing the ancient rock beds and trees existed well before our time is humbling, and the graceful connection between plant and animal life inspires awe.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land, the Wiradjuri people, on which we live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and recognise their connection to the land for which sovereignty was never ceded.

Nature is a constant for the Southern Wild Co team. It seeps into every aspect of our day and reverberates in all that we produce.

A landrover in a paddock in the early morning and a woman and a chocolate labrador down by a creek
Australian bush paddock early morning with mist and spider rain

 

If you follow the Southern Wild Co Instagram account, you will know that Tania, our founder and creative director, is often up with the first bird song to capture the waking landscape. The rolling hills are dotted with gum trees, rocky outcrops and mobs of roo’s hopping by. There’s Apple Box gum on the ridges, Stringy Bark stand tall in the gullies and down by the creek, and much to the bee’s delight, the Yellow Box are everywhere. Sure, you need to watch out for deadly eastern browns and the charging wombats that won’t stop for anyone, but any risk associated with ambling through the rugged land is worth it. Especially when the elements align and you witness a spectacular show of nature.

We recently woke to a world covered in a fine blanket of delicate webbing, the result of thousands upon thousands of tiny spiders being carried in on the wind. The rare and beautiful occurrence is known as ‘spider rain’, and it was like otherworldly snow had fallen overnight. The magical morning mist and a perfectly golden sunrise highlighted the gossamer threads tangled in the low scrub, creating an exquisitely extraterrestrial scene that was ours alone for a moment.

 

Autumn colours interior inspiration home bar

 

Nature’s colours and moods clearly express the passing of time, and the enduring muse has inspired centuries-worth of artists and creative thinkers. Here, as winter settles, the rich tones of autumn give way to sombre silvery greys, the colour drains from crunchy grass, and the branches reveal themselves. Frosty mists and smoke from the chimneys create a setting that is awash with purples and blues.

The Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum ‘Eddisbury’) at the entrance to the Shedquarters is young, but it takes its role as a timepiece very seriously. “We planted it right at the front of the shed so we can see it all the time. It’s so beautiful through all the seasons,” Tania says. The fresh, verdant leaves of summer turn firey gold and orange as the temperature drops; when Winter arrives in earnest, the colour of the bare stems shift to a shock of scarlet against the desaturated landscape.

Nature’s colours and moods clearly express the passing of time, and the enduring muse has inspired centuries-worth of artists and creative thinkers.

 

Pretty blonde woman holding a large bunch of eucalyptus

 

Of course, gorgeously fragranced blooms often take pride of place in the Shedquarters. Delicate roses remind Tania of her grandmother’s garden, and the sweet scent of jasmine on the slightest breeze conjures nostalgic images of verandah posts wrapped in vines. There are old lilac trees and thickets of lavender on our work hub grounds, so arrangements of sweet mauves and powdery blues often make their way inside.

It’s not just cut florals that reside in the eclectic collection of op-shop vases: overflowing bunches of gum leaves are a mainstay. “I’m drawn to all the different shades of green, from bright and limey to the silvery greys,” Tania observes. “The Peppermint gums have beautiful red stems when they’re young, which add a lovely contrast and a pop of colour.”

 

Red apples in a rustic pottery bowl in a vintage interior

 

A week rarely passes without a gardening session, where tending to the soil goes hand in hand with tending to the mind. “I find gardening very meditative, and I often have my best ideas when I’m out there,” Tania reveals. The seasonal extremes of a taxed climate mean there’s always something to do amongst the beds and borders. “It has struggled in the past few years because of the drought, but everything has been brought back to life by the recent rains. We have to stay on top of it so it doesn’t get out of control,” says Tania. The dirt roads and wild tracks that traverse the property offer a bounty of seasonal freshness, with roadside trees dripping with apples, quince, pears and plums. There are plenty of wild, meaty mushrooms to be found in the nearby pine forest.

 

A scented candle sits next to a rustic bowl of natural seedpods. A horses skull is propped against vintage books.

 

Collected and curated, the interior of the Shedquarters is filled with natural ephemera and reminders of the great outdoors. Some of these talismans offer a connection to the industrious history of the property. “This was a working farm for over a hundred years, so there are lots of old farm animal bones around, like sheep, cows and horses,” Tania explains.

Unusually shaped seedpods and gum nuts gather in bowls and rest on book stacks. “I collected a lot from the Kanangra Boyd National Park, just up the road, after the fires, and found some beautiful specimens,” shares Tania. The feathers that fill vases and repurposed SWC candle jars are a document of the birdlife that colour the sky. Included in the roll call? Mountain lorikeets, king parrots, yellowtail black cockatoos, sulphur-crested cockatoos and the currawongs.

Collected and curated, the interior of the Shedquarters is filled with natural ephemera and reminders of the great outdoors.

 Interior detail of a vase of flowers, Southern Wild Co scented candle, art and paintbrushes on an antique sideboard

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Images by Sue Stubbs
Words by Jessica Bellef