Brush up on ways to save our possums By Liz Rogers

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Brushtail and ringtail possum numbers are falling because of urbanisation. AWARE Wildlife Rescue president Sharon Bondy suggests what we can do to help these Australian natives survive and thrive.

“Valuing native wildlife in our suburbs is important. Seeing possums not as invasive pests that need to be eradicated but as part of Australian life is key to their survival. In the last 12 months AWARE Wildlife Rescue have tended to nearly 500 possums. Many have been negatively impacted by urban development, which reduces food sources and places for them to nest. As their habitat is fragmented, increased numbers of possums are being hit by cars as they are forced to cross roads in the search for food. Many become malnourished, then can’t produce milk for their babies, or they become prey for foxes, dogs and cats.”

One thing we can do to help is plant natives like eucalypts, bottlebrushes, tea-trees, banksias, lilly pillys, grevilleas, and wattles in our gardens. Not only will the possums have the correct food source, they’ll have housing too. If they’re in your roof, you could provide a nest box and place it in a tree close to your roof.

“You can obtain instructions on how to construct a nest box or where to find a nest box supplier from AWARE Wildlife Rescue or from DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). Possums are territorial, so if one adopts the nest box it is likely to keep others away from your roof and garden area,” continues Sharon.  

Remember, brushtail and ringtail possums are Australian native nocturnal species. Become aware of how to live with them before they disappear. For ever.



Emergency Hotline: 0412 433 727



FB: AWARE wildlife

INSTA: @AWAREWildlifeRescue



PROPERTY OF THE MONTH Secluded, central and a winning courtyard

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Supreme seclusion and a central location unite in this appealing townhouse with a delightful courtyard just five minutes from Frankston.

The three-bedroom, one-bathroom domain at 28/95 Ashleigh Ave occupies a secure position at the rear of a boutique townhouse and villa development, with an onsite pocket park just one door away. This is a quiet, low-maintenance lifestyle close to schools, shops, bus stops and reserves.

The double-storey townhouse boasts a northerly orientation and a landscaped, wrap-around courtyard with an inviting wide-plank alfresco merbau deck and merbau bench seating. The single garage has a remote-controlled door and secure internal access, and there’s a designated parking bay and an adjacent visitor’s park.

The generous ground-floor kitchen includes a stainless steel oven and dishwasher and a gas cooktop. A handy laundry and downstairs toilet, a living room and a tiled meals space with a courtyard outlook complete this level.

The first-floor accommodation includes a spacious master bedroom with a walk-in robe and split system heating/cooling plus two secondary bedrooms with built-in robes. A large double vanity semi-ensuite with a separate bath tub and shower plus a separate toilet accommodates busy families with ease.

Other appointments include ducted heating, security doors, a covered entrance porch and more, making this an excellent first home, downsizing opportunity or investment.


A: 4/454 Nepean Highway, Frankston

T: 1300 503 000

FB: harcourtscentral3199

INSTA: harcourts_central


Warm up this winter with DC+B

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Whisper Cellular Blinds by Dollar Curtains + Blinds are more than your average blind. Their unique cellular construction creates its own layer of insulation by allowing air to be trapped within each cell, resulting in savings of up to 32 per cent on heating costs compared with a standard roller blind. Not only can you enjoy these insulation benefits and energy savings through winter but also through summer whereby the summer heat is reduced, saving you up to 32 per cent more on your cooling costs.

Along with the energy efficiency benefits, Whisper Cellular Blinds also have no visible seams, cords or cord holes, creating a beautiful, streamlined solution. They are also available in a variety of easy-to-use and child-safe operating systems and specialised shapes, including a skylight system, providing the ideal solution for your windows. They have slimline hardware that minimises light gaps and maximises views when drawn open.

Dollar Curtains + Blinds has specialised in manufacturing custom blinds for more than 50 years, all made right here in Melbourne. Check out Dollar Curtains + Blinds on Instagram for ideas on how window coverings can truly transform your home!

Visit DC+B’s new flagship store at Store 15, Kingston Central Plaza, 288 Centre Dandenong Rd, Mentone, just next to Moorabbin airport. Call the team on 9566 8200 for your free in-home measure and quote. Alternatively contact the Mornington team on 5975 3655 or drop by the showroom at Shop C4, Peninsula Home, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington.


A: Store 15, Kingston Central Plaza, 288 Centre Dandenong Rd, Mentone

T: 9566 8200

A: 10/44 Victor Cres, Narre Warren

T: 9704 8654

A: Shop C4, Peninsula Home, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington

T: 5975 3655

FB: Dollar Curtains + Blinds

INSTA: @dollarcurtainsandblinds

Subtle sage takes centre stage By Anna Fell

Move over, purple — the people have spoken and sage is this year’s most popular colour. It's no secret by now that next summer season will be swimming in pastel palettes, and sage is the colour currently proving to be the stand-out star of soft shades. Powder blue who?

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With searches for sage decor up 170 per cent, the Pinterest community has pushed aside Pantone's potent 18-3838 Ultra Violet in favour of what they have decided is 2018's most popular colour in interior design.

An essential herb and a member of the mint family, sage's earthy and refreshing hue is being hailed as the newest addition to the neutral colour palette, too. Now you can go green instead of grey with an understated shade that will instantly make your interiors feel invigorated, and will maintain a natural home aesthetic.

Simple and with a familiarity that enriches a space, sage is also ideal for adding to a wabi-sabi space. The Japanese Zen concept of wabi-sabi, when reflected in interior design, emphasises the beauty of pared-back decoration and an organic look. A humble shade such as sage can make you feel more at home and back to your roots, letting you experience your space more mindfully than any lavish colour could.

In response to the huge colour trend, sage is also being incorporated in wallpaper designs.

You can then accent the colour with lush plants, as well as hints of matcha and honeydew melon hues in your decor to keep the fresh green feeling going.

The shade isn't intense and it isn't overly overcast — sage is a gentle, matte shade that is easy on the eyes and the mind, so there's no need to hesitate on that desire you have to drench your room's walls in the topical tint.


The Edible Gardener

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Most gardeners will tell you their compost is the life source of their garden. For those with an edible garden, composting is important to maintain the health and fertility of our soils, and therefore nutrition in our crops. There are three main composting methods that homeowners can use: compost heaps (including bays and bins), worm farms, and liquid manures.

Bulk garden waste, spent crops and lawn clippings can go into the traditional compost heap, compost bay or compost bin. It is important that the compost receives sufficient oxygen to feed the bacterial driving force at its heart, that the pile has adequate moisture, that it’s layered well and has a good ratio of dry-to-wet matter. It is worth doing some research in order to understand the composting process better to produce optimum results.

The easiest way to deal with kitchen food waste is to use a worm farm. These can be readily purchased from nurseries and hardware stores, though it is easy to make your own using recycled materials such as polystyrene boxes, bathtubs or old rubbish bins. When used well, worm farms don’t tend to smell as much as the common compost bin. You also get the added benefit of a constant supply of worm juice and worm castings, some of the best natural fertilisers you can get (depending on what you feed them, of course).

And don’t forget that a few backyard chooks are very industrious vegetable and fruit waste recyclers.

We can use weeds separately to form liquid manures. Old bins work well for this purpose. Comfrey, nettle, nasturtiums or abundant herbs will all benefit your liquid manure by increasing the range of nutrients and minerals in your solution.

Using a combination of systems can provide you with an array of ready-to-use fertilisers for your food crops.

Happy composting!

Drew Cooper, Edible Gardens


Smart furniture at a smart price by Kate Sears


It was a smart decision by John and Mary a year ago to start a business that provides quality designer furniture that is accessible to everyone through their show-stopping wholesale prices. It was an even smarter move to respond to their success by progressing from an online store to a warehouse where they invite everyone to touch, feel, sit, and even lie down to explore their quality furniture options in person.

“Our display is warehouse style so that our products are the hero, not the warehouse. We are all about the furniture,” said John. “And when you’re here you deal with us directly, the owners.”

At Smart Living Furniture’s warehouse, John and Mary sell to you direct from Australia’s largest quality furniture manufacturer so you can expect to see brand new furniture made from Australian timber and materials. There’s now no need to visit clearance stores that sell ex-demo, ex-display or damaged furniture because John and Mary don’t sacrifice quality for price.

They boast wholesale prices on brand new quality designer furniture from Australia’s largest manufacturer that is available at major retailers for 50 per cent more.  They strongly believe in offering superior dining room tables, deluxe lounges, tallboys and much more to everyone. They want designer furniture to be accessible to everyone — so much so that they focus on keeping their overheads low to keep the prices down and pass the savings on to the customer.

Don’t wait for your favourite high-end retailer to have an EOFY sale. Shop smart and snap up an absolute bargain at John and Mary’s warehouse today and join their grand opening raffle for your chance to win a dining suite.

A: 3/100 Dandenong Rd, Frankston (cnr Tooyal St and Dandenong Rd)
T: 0411 330 287
FB: @smartlivingfurnitureau
INSTA: @smartlivingfurniture


PROPERTY OF THE MONTH The height of luxury living

Grace and grand design unite atop Olivers Hill with this sweeping English-inspired luxury residence in the exclusive Bruarong Mews.

Welcome to one of Frankston South’s most prestigious addresses. Bruarong Mews is a unique gated community of three premium homes set around a magnificent circular drive with a water feature.


With sprawling dimensions and gabled entry, 2/9 Bruarong Cres takes pride of place in the turning circle, on 878sq m (approx) with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, three living rooms, two powder rooms and garaging for three cars.

This is the largest of the three, with a lush garden, an entertaining terrace and an outdoor spa. The first floor captures a delightful view of Frankston beach and Port Phillip Bay. 

This is an exceptionally secure and private offering. It is walking distance to the beach, within the Frankston High School zone and a short drive to Mount Eliza Village’s shops and the Frankston CBD.

A: 4/454 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 1300 503 000

Double the benefits with DCB


If you haven’t heard of these before you may be thinking this sounds too good to be true. Dollar Curtains & Blinds’ double roller blinds have a double bracket system that combines two fabrics on the same window, allowing you to have both a block-out fabric for keeping the light out and a sheer or sunscreen fabric for when you want to see out. One blind for the day and one blind for the night — two blinds in one!

Control of each blind is separate so you can enjoy your window views and soft diffused light during the day and have complete privacy and darkness at night. How handy is that! Plus, during these chilly winter months with double roller blinds you’ll receive double the insulation benefits to help keep the cold out of your home.

DCB’s roller blinds are custom-manufactured in Melbourne and the decorator team can manufacture custom pelmets for you in matching fabrics. The pelmets further increase your windows’ insulation and also conceal the blind hardware and componentry underneath, creating a complete finish.

Sound like the window covering solution you’ve been searching for? It’s easy to see why double roller blinds are becoming so popular because they meet the brief for so many homeowners.

Check out Dollar Curtains & Blinds on Instagram for ideas on how window coverings can transform your home. Call 9704 8654 or visit the Fountain Gate team at 10/44 Victor Cres, Narre Warren. Alternatively, contact the Mornington team on 5975 3655 or drop by the showroom in Shop C4, Peninsula Home, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington.

Both showrooms are open seven days.

A: 10/44 Victor Cres, Narre Warren
T: 9704 8654
A: Shop C4, Peninsula Home, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington
T: 5975 3655


Volunteers fight for our foreshore

 Credit: Steve Brown 

Credit: Steve Brown 

Frankston Beach Association was established in the early 1980s with four of its early members still currently active. Environmentalist Pat Bentley was a founding member of the organisation, as was Bob Graham. Eve Welch has given many years’ service to FBA and early member Kath Hassell was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the last Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the environment, mainly with FBA. Kath has also received other awards for her service to the community.

FBA’s motto is “Preserving the beach for all to use”. It runs a program of weeding and revegetating the dunes and more than 300,000 plants have been planted from grants obtained by the organisation. It also advocates for the preservation of the beach environment through submissions to council and government. It is currently running a campaign to ensure the current proposed breakwater does not proceed until exhaustive studies, including physical modelling from data obtained over many seasons, have been undertaken.

The current planting, weeding and rubbish collection program is supervised by Johan de Bree with a team of some 10 volunteers. Kath still provides morning tea for the workers as she has been doing for more than 30 years.

The committee of eight meets at the Long Island Tennis Club at 4.30pm on the third Wednesday of the month. FBA welcomes new members.

For more information visit FBA’s website at or contact



Shower makeover in a day

One day is all it takes. Bayside Grout Solutions owner-operator Jorg Melzer specialises in tile and grout maintenance and he’s such a whiz there’s minimal downtime. All work is done without removing your existing tiles and most standard showers are rejuvenated in half a day, with your shower back in service just 24 hours later.

If you’re after a renovation look without the renovation, Jorg can restore/recolour or rejuvenate your existing grout surfaces. He’ll have your shower looking like new again in just four hours with new grout and silicone seals, the tiles polished and the shower screens cleaned. 

Repairs to leaking showers are usually completed in a day without removing any tiles, and Jorg can also replace bath and vanity seals and clean indoor or outdoor tiles. Call 0424 843 358 for a free no-obligation quote.

Service your shower this summer

A shower recess is one of the most used and harshly treated parts of your house.  In some cases it will be used four to eight times a day, especially in summer and on sports days.  It is then subjected to harsh chemicals and constant moisture, barely getting a chance to dry out. This causes the grout and the silicone to become weak. If not maintained properly it will eventually cause the recess to leak into its surrounds.

Bayside Grout Solutions owner/operator Jorg says sure signs of this are damaged door frames and plaster boards, and wet carpets adjoining the bathroom. In some cases, showers leak due to poor installation and ill-fitting screens. So why not have the shower recess serviced - just like you do a car - by giving it a full ‘rejuvenation’. 

Jorg will replace the grout and all the seals and polish all the surfaces so the shower gleams like new again, giving you many more years of use.  All this can be done in a day in most cases, and your shower will be back in action 36 hours later for a fraction of the cost of a full replacement.

For a free no-obligation quote, call Jorg on 0424 843 358.


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A fresh take on a timeless classic

Durable and practical, awnings from Dollar Curtains & Blinds can provide your home with much-needed protection from the harsh Australian sun and are designed to significantly reduce your cooling costs. Now with the newly released Killara Plus external awning fabric you can make a statement to your home’s façade along with gaining all of the practical benefits that come with awnings. 

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With superior strength, energy efficiency and effortless maintenance, the iconic Killara Plus collection now offers a new wider width and an inspired colour range. The refreshed colour palette is inspired by current Australian home exterior trends, including options colour-matched to popular Colorbond colours so you can match your awnings with the rest of your home’s exterior. The awning fabric is fade, mildew and stain-resistant, treated with Duraguard Fabric Protector to effectively repel most stain-causing agents and for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Killara Plus is exclusively available at Dollar Curtains & Blinds stores. Dollar Curtains & Blinds’ Killara Plus fabric and awnings are both proudly made in Australia, ensuring support of local textiles and the highest standard of quality. Call 9704 8654 or visit DCB’s Fountain Gate team at 10/44 Victor Cres, Narre Warren. Alternatively, contact the Mornington team on 5975 3655 or drop by their showroom in the Peninsula Home Centre, Shop C4 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington.

Both showrooms are open seven days.

A: 10/44 Victor Cres, Narre Warren
T: 9704 8654
A: Shop C4, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington
T: 5975 3655

Ready, set, renovate!

Is your bathroom lacking storage solutions? Do you fancy a new splashback for your kitchen but you’re overwhelmed with choice? Has a botched reno attempt of the laundry been left half-done, requiring a bit of direction to finish the job? We might just have found your answers.

For one day only, Home Innovations Centre in Frankston will showcase the latest trends, products and industry experts with exclusive expo-only specials and more at its Kitchen and Bathroom Expo 2018 on Saturday, March 17, from 10am-4pm. You’ll find inspiration for all your building and renovating projects - not just for the kitchen or bathroom – and it’s all under one roof.

There’s free entry to this popular event that attracts home renovators, builders, interior designers, stylists, home improvement devotees, DIY addicts, and anyone who has the desire to redecorate their home for the New Year.

Frankly Frankston encourages you to mark the date on your calendar or in your diary - it’s the ideal opportunity for you to save some dough on your kitchen or bathroom renovations. You’ll be able to seek expert advice and take advantage of free hour-long seminars, and there are door prizes too.

To secure your place, register for your free tickets at  If you register before Thursday, March 1, you will go into the draw to win two Gold Class movie tickets.

A: 111 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston
FB: @HomeInnovationsCentre


The magnificence of wrought iron by Liz Rogers

Wrought Iron Online crafts truly beautiful statement pieces that add a touch of class, style and dramatic design to your home or business premises.

Working closely with each client to create wrought iron doors (including security), gates and fences, balustrades, handles and spiral staircases, Wrought Iron Online is the place to go when searching for craftsmanship and individuality. It designs, distributes and installs hand-made wrought iron products produced by the Indonesian side of the family in Jakarta and works closely with each client to achieve the best outcome. If you have your own design in mind, Wrought Iron Online can make that too.

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All work at Wrought Iron Online complies with Australian Standards and Building Code Australia and comes at a completely competitive price. The simply stunning indoor or outdoor spiral staircases with plain balustrades (beginning at $1120 per metre height) or scroll balustrades (at $1350 per metre height) are functional, attractive and uniquely affordable.

Make your wrought iron statement today. Just go online.

A: 9 Wooten Close, Frankston
T: 9766 1008
M: 0418 522 477


The Edible Gardener

With a fairly mild summer and our gardens producing an abundance of beautifully ripe homegrown fruit and vegies, many of you may find you have more produce than you can use for your daily meals. This is where the real beauty of growing your own food begins to shine - preserving.

While there may be loads of meals you can prepare with your abundant crops of tomatoes, basil, zucchini, cucumbers, chillies, eggplant and capsicum, there are many preserving techniques to help you enjoy your plentiful supplies later in the year - pickling, freezing, dehydrating and bottling just to name a few.

Tomatoes are easy. Making sauces, pastes and jams are on most home-growers’ radars. But simply storing your whole or chopped tomatoes can allow much more flexibility for many months to come. And if you have planted a good crop (say 20-30 plants) you will likely have enough to take you close or through to the next harvest in 2018-19.

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Abundant herbs can be quickly transformed into pestos, whacked in the freezer and thawed as required throughout the year for cooking or snacking.

Zucchinis (and cucumbers) have well-earned reputations for overproducing, with most people choosing to let them rot on the ground after getting sick of too many zucchini meals over summer. How often, though, have you wanted to use zucchini or cucumber when they are not in the garden? Pickling both of these fruits in various ways is fantastic, as is making and freezing zucchini soups, slow-cooking or dehydrating zucchini chips and juicing both if you still have too many.

Eggplant and capsicum are always well enjoyed in many ways during the warm seasons, whether it’s cooked on the barbie, made into dips or just eaten raw. If enough is enough, then think about charring them and storing them in oil to be used all year as condiments and additions to a wide range of meals.

And as for chillies, well, if you have more than one good-size plant in this season you’ll likely be wondering what to do with the excess long after the plant has withered and died. Stringing chillies up to dry and hanging alongside your garlic in the kitchen will give you two very versatile and well-used meal additions. However, chilli pastes and sauces are a must-have in the fridge and cupboard for any spicy food-loving family. And depending on the variety of chilli you have grown, they will provide you with many spiced-up meals through the year.

Preserving your excess fruit is also a very rewarding activity. Although most stone fruit has finished now (fantastic for bottling), there are still the apples, pears, quince, figs and citrus you can have a go at.

Doing a bit of reading on preserving will give you limitless ideas on how to continue to enjoy your homegrown harvests over the coming year, and given a little time and creativity your pantry will be filled with many delicious alternatives for your already fabulous produce.


Drew Cooper, Edible Gardens


Because it’s MyFrankston

Have you seen dumped rubbish and found it untidy and disappointing but not known what to do? Have you discovered damage to council property but not known how you can help?

Frankston City Council is now encouraging residents to use the MyFrankston app to report such things. This free service also allows you to ask questions, report issues, or make payments (rates, pet registrations, infringements and permits) over the internet. Furthermore, you can report cases of illegal parking, roads or footpaths that need repairs, overgrown trees or bushes that are restricting footpath access, and shopping trolleys that have been discarded. And you can provide photographic evidence if needed all through the app itself.

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After such reports are lodged, they are sent directly to the council where they are allocated to the correct department and promptly followed up.

To use the free web app, visit

However, if it’s noisy hoon drivers or illegal motorcycles and monkey bikes that have caught your attention, the council encourages you to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it via the Crime Stoppers app.