{Thistledo Farm} Our Home – There is Beauty in Brokenness

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

I have spent a lot of time focusing on the interior of our home, which is my main focus because the outside seriously overwhelms me! I am not a gardener, I hate mowing, I don’t really like getting dirty and the sun hurts my eyes! I am a homebody at heart and I would choose inside over outside any day!

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

But despite my dirt phobia I  know that we are very blessed to live here on this gorgeous farm. Thistledo (a play on the words This-will-do) was named by my in-laws and I love the name, it says a lot about them and the home they made here. It is humble and unassuming and doesn’t try to be more than it is…..it just is and in that there is beauty. My husband grew up here and we spent a lot of our “dates” here on the farm. We moved here 4 years ago as a family. We always had plans to move here and build our dream home but our plans were moved forward and we have made a home in what was a one bedroom “shack” built for a farm-hand to use. In reality this “house” is just a home built under a shed at the back of the farm behind two other sheds.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

You can see the side of the main house in this picture (it is a lot larger than it appears here). The big shed was where all the packaging and sorting of fruit happened it still contains a lot of old machinery. My shed is where I spend most days painting. You can see the side of our house attached to the tractor shed, there are two different greens on the roof as the shed was extended for the house and before we moved in we added three rooms and a hallway under the shed part of the roof.

What makes this place beautiful and special is that it is over 90 acres of glorious farmland and Australian Bush. The houses and sheds sit atop a bluff and over look most of the paddocks. Every time people arrive here for the first time their first comment is always “wow, this is beautiful”. The beauty is not found in the buildings or landscape but in the sense of peace and isolation that you feel when coming here.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

The views from the highest point on the farm, at the bottom of the picture, out of sight, is the main house.

 

It seems so cut off from the rest of the world but in reality we are 10mins drive into town. Thistledo Farm is found in South-East Queensland on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and is a tourist destination. It is a wonderful place to live and we are blessed to call it home. Our home is a far cry from the beach, we live in what is known as the “Hinterland” and I think it is much more beautiful than the beach. I am a country girl at heart and I would choose a paddock full of cows over a beach any day. So I am right where I need to be.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

View down to one of two huge dams.

You travel down a long dirt/bitumen drive to get to the main house where my father-in-law lives, it is a large home and where my husband grew up. Some people I am sure would cringe at the idea of living so close to the in-laws and I confess I felt that way before we moved here, but I am blessed to have the type of in-laws that know just when to be there and when not to, they give us space to be a family, while still supporting us in everything we do. Not long after we moved here my Mother-In-Law passed away from a long battle with cancer and I feel her loss here everyday.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

The farm lost a bit of its luster for me when she left, I didn’t realise how much of its feel was caught up in the home and life she had built here. I didn’t realise the incredible void she would leave. But, I know regardless of her loss we are where we need to be, for now anyway, this is home.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

The front view of the main house as you come down the driveway, it has been extended a lot over the years and boasts 3 living areas and 2 kitchens (one with a built-in BBQ) 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry/mudroom and an office. It also has multi-level verandas off the back to take in the views. This is where my husband grew up.

When I first met this family the farm was a working one with cows to keep the grass down and rows upon rows of avocado and lemon tree orchards. It was a beautiful place that has lost a bit of its sparkle in the last 10 years. The trees are gone now and so are the cows, the land has been left to lay fallow and grow wild, but still here and there are patches of its former glory. I am not sure what will come of it, whether we will ever see it shine again.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

A massive mango tree stands outside the big shed.

Things are changing here as land is cut off for us and my sister-in-law and the grandchildren…..while it won’t be sold off to strangers it will never be what is was…..that makes me sad…..but at the same time there is promise for a brighter future, one surrounded by extended family.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

My husband and Father-In-Law have been slowly stripping the farm of all that made it a farm….its identity….the lemon trees are almost gone and only a few of the avocados trees remain. The paddocks have no fences now as there are no animals to contain. What once was, is gone. The land has lost its purpose and in that I think there is a sadness, I worry it will go the way of so many farms around us….housing developments and rows upon rows of cookie cutter houses….it would be a shame to see this countryside stripped of all it’s glory.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

This is a patch of paradise that very few people are lucky to possess and I would hate to see it squandered, sold off to the highest bidder and cut up into tiny pieces, never to be a whole again. I worry that this will be its future.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

This tree stands in what will be our future home, my husband planted this here so we will at least have one tree when we eventually make our home here. This was the avocado orchard and is now completely wild and overgrown. Clearing has started but it will take a lot of work to make it beautiful again.

A road is going in soon where the dirt driveway is, it will be sad to see that go as we had our wedding photos taken here…..walking up the drive away from my husbands life here…..to our new life as husband and wife…..little did we know we would return so soon.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

That new road will lead to our  land….our small patch of this farm where we can build our forever home. I look forward to that time but I am also sad for what was. I really wish you could have seen it in all it’s glory when the Poinciana Trees were in bloom and the gardens where overflowing with flowers…..when the lemon and avocado orchards were a hive of activity……..it was beautiful then.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

But, I see beauty in brokenness…..here and there the bush is coming back to life, reclaiming what was and I think there may be hope for this old girl yet.

Colour Saturated Life | There is Beauty in Brokenness

I am so excited to FINALLY share some pictures of the slice of Australia we call home, I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as I did walking around capturing them for you! I love the sense of history the farm has and the generations that have lived here, we are blessed to be a small part of its story.

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  • DD - July 24, 2016 - 7:07 am

    I don’t exactly know how but I found this beautiful gift you have shared. I loved every picture, made me feel like I was walking with you. I so related to what was and “your dreams of what will be.” I am there myself, though different, at this time in my life. Thank you for this, very encouraging to my heart as a fellow pilgrim. The property is gorgeous, a safe haven from the storms of life. CHERISH and SAVOR this time.ReplyCancel

  • leslie harris - April 5, 2016 - 3:56 pm

    What a beautiful place—your photos made me feel like I was right there. And I loved how your husband planted a tree in the spot that will be your future home. What an exciting time in your life. I don’t know how I found stumbled on your blog but i’m so glad I did.
    xo
    LeslieReplyCancel

    • Gilly - April 12, 2016 - 11:18 am

      Thanks Leslie, we are very blessed! xoReplyCancel

  • Marijean Jenson - January 13, 2016 - 9:05 am

    I so enjoyed the tour of your beautiful surroundings. Such a beautiful piece of property. The story you tell is one of fondness !ReplyCancel

  • Mary - January 8, 2016 - 10:55 am

    Enjoyed the photographic journey down memory lane along with you. As a nature lover, I was much impressed with the photos and your words so expressed in such a loving way of your feelings for the land. It is sad to see places held so dear in one’s heart reduced to less than what it once was, but it is almost inevitable that more and more of the beautiful and vast landscape of pure natural growth and wild life will become a remembrance only in our memories. So, so sad. The journey was an echo of my past having also grown up in the country and a thank you for sharing. All was exceptionally lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - October 23, 2015 - 1:35 am

    Your farm is absolutely beautiful! When I first saw the pictures I wondered what the trees were because I didn’t recognize them. How neat that you have avocados and mangos. The best part is the legacy of the land that you have there.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - October 28, 2015 - 1:28 pm

      Thanks Stacey, it really is a special place to live.ReplyCancel

  • Breanna - October 22, 2015 - 5:47 am

    what an absolutely gorgeous piece of land! And I love the name, it’s so perfect and charming 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - October 28, 2015 - 1:31 pm

      Thanks Bre, we are blessed and I love the name too, it’s perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi - October 21, 2015 - 11:26 pm

    This is incredible Gilly! What a gorgeous piece of property!ReplyCancel

  • Marigene - October 21, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    Thistledo looks like a small piece of heaven. I can see why you love it so much. If I didn’t know that photo of the winding curve, high bank was in Australia, I would swear it was the road in Vermont where my parents home is. I would love to have a mango tree in my back yard…they happen to be my favorite of any fruits.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Gilly.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - October 28, 2015 - 1:34 pm

      Oh wow, I would love to go to Vermont one day! Funny thing is Marigene I hate mangoes! Haha, my hubby and daughter love them though. WE are about to get inundated with them as we enter mango season here. Thanks for stopping by as alwaysReplyCancel

  • Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage - October 21, 2015 - 10:03 am

    What beautiful land you live on. Our daughter-in-law is from New South Wales, but lives here in the States with our youngest son and our grandson, Corbin. She’s currently pregnant with twins. I know they had hoped to move to Australia before they bought a house and Corbin was born. Our son loves it over there.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - October 28, 2015 - 1:36 pm

      So great to have an Aussie over there! Maybe one day they can come back here and show their kids this part of the world. Thanks CarolReplyCancel

  • Ardith - October 21, 2015 - 9:14 am

    Gilly, I am speechless in response to your beautiful, soulfully-written words about the land you call home.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - October 28, 2015 - 1:38 pm

      Thanks Ardith, I find it so easy to write about things that I am passionate about and I love our farm.ReplyCancel

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