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knee-deep in nature

From Habitat magazine - issue 22

When Lynda Hallinan isn't presenting TV shows or writing gardening books, she's at home in the vege patch of her lifestyle block, or relaxing at her retro bach.

An interview with Lynda Hallinan
Lynda Hallinan

What do you love about your multi-faceted life?

Living in the country, knee-deep in nature, is the best counterbalance for a busy life of writing and broadcasting. My husband, Jason, and I always have loads of projects on the go but equally it's lovely just to stop and enjoy the drama of the changing seasons in our rural landscape. Our long driveway is lined with pin oaks and liquidambars that put on a pyrotechnic autumn display; in winter we can wake up to paddocks dusted in frost; in spring, my garden is lush and pretty with loads of cottage flowers to pick; then in summer my garden is a riot of bold dahlias, while our hay paddocks turn that quintessential wild meadow shade of golden-brown.

Tell us a bit about your current ventures

I've promised my family that I'll take it a bit easier in 2015, though I don't think they believe me. More gardening, more writing, more renovating!

How would you describe your personal style?

A mix of new and old. I love contemporary Scandinavian design as much as retro kitsch, but sadly the former is somewhat more expensive than the latter, and not very practical when you have two raucous preschoolers in residence [Lachie, pictured, and Lucas]. I can't resist an op shop and I’m always on the hunt for antique garden tools and horticultural paraphernalia, and vintage kitchen utensils.

What is your favourite decorating colour and why?

At home, it's green. We painted all the windows in our converted stable block with Resene Glade Green and when visitors come to my garden they usually ask about the paint colours before they notice any plants. Plus all my friends and family members know that I love every shade of green, which makes choosing gifts easy! But when we bought a tiny run down bach last year, I decided to give it a sunshine yellow colour scheme instead, with Resene Starstruck on the kitchen cupboards and a Resene Yellow Sea front door. When my cousin, Catherine, turned up with a bach-warming present, she took one look at the interior and said, "Oh no." She'd bought us a gorgeous green platter...

What do you love most about your home?

That it's small enough to redecorate on a whim! Also, because it' so small, our boys are forced to play outdoors, so they're enjoying the same country upbringing as I did.

What are your three favourite colours from the Resene The Range fashion colours 16?

Resene Starstruck, because it's almost the exact shade of mustard yellow as the cupboards in our farmhouse kitchen when I was a child in the 1970s. Resene Madam M, because it's such a sultry shade of burgundy. I've just repainted the shepherd's hut in our garden this colour – Resene Gumboot. Because, as Fred Dagg would say, if it weren't for your gumboots, where would you be? I'm not afraid to admit that I often choose paint colours just for their gardening-themed names.

Is there a colour you would never use at home?

Purple. When I met my husband, his bedroom was a most unmanly shade of lilac! Our bedroom is now concrete grey (Resene Delta), which is possibly more appropriate for a chap who works in construction.

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