CouncilFeaturedHow toNatureNow

How this Ipswich mum is making gardening fun for local families

Springfield mother-of-three Rachel Leembruggen is on a mission to inspire local families to get outside and garden with their kids.

In fact, it is why she started her business, Plot Australia.

“BC – before children – I worked as an environmental manager and horticulturalist,” Mrs Leembruggen said.

“I’ve loved working outdoors ever since my dad and grandma instilled a love of gardening in me.

“Now I’ve got my own family based in Springfield and we spend a lot of time together outside. It’s the best remedy for tantrums, big emotions and boredom – and that’s just from me!

“A lot of my friends were telling me they wished they knew how to garden and grow plants so they could share the experience with their kids and that’s when I started Plot Australia – to give other mums the confidence and ability to give it a go!”

Now, Mrs Leembruggen is sharing her tips to help local families start a nature-friendly garden, including how to start composting, as part of Ipswich City Council’s Sustainability in the Suburbs series. Check her videos out below.

It comes after the Ipswich community last year told council that they wanted help to start a nature-friendly garden.

And Mrs Leembruggen is doing just that with her gardening workshops and popular Plot Packs.

“My biggest customer base for the Plot Packs have been rural women and customers purchasing them as gifts for their children,” Mrs Leembruggen said.

“I think we take for granted that everyone is 15 minutes away from a local Bunnings or the grocery store.

“Women living remotely have really loved being able to buy everything they need to get some vegetable seedlings started to grow fresh produce for their family.

“Picking fresh greens from your garden is so valuable – especially if the closest shops are two hours away.

“Most of all though the Plot Packs are just really beautiful gifts.

“People are pleased to be able to give a useful present that isn’t full of plastic – and can also be an activity to bond and connect with your children outside.”

Plot Australia recently won the Ipswich City Council Small Business Award at the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.

Mrs Leembruggen said it was an ‘amazing’ feeling.

Sustainability in the Suburbs is all about sharing stories, knowledge and ideas help us all live, eat and play the sustainable way.

By working together we can protect and enhance our environment and its liveability for current and future generations.

Keep an eye out for more videos featuring sustainability tips and tricks from Ipswich residents or share your own using #sustainableipswich

Find out more at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/sustainability

“It was a very unexpected honour,” she said.

“I’ve had great support from my husband, other small Ipswich based local suppliers and Ipswich City Council engaging me to run workshops.

“It can be very challenging starting and running a small business with such small kids. But we’ve all grown together.” 

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