Zen gardening with Bamboo

Being named in the Guinness Book of World Records for worlds fastest growing plant, it creates instant privacy and a feeling of calm, tropical relaxation.

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Living in Japan for 3 years Justin Popp fell in love with the eastern asian lifestyle, and was inspired while walking amongst 30 year old giant bamboo forests.

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Back in Australia, Justin worked as a marketing exec in Melbourne for 10 years in campaign management and social media but made the sea change to Newcastle with his young family in 2015.

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The family is loving the excellent weather, great schools and vibrant community of Newcastle.

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“Newcastle is a little like Melbourne,” Justin replies when we ask him about any similarities. “A mini Melbourne by the sea. Darby Street is Like Degraves, and The Junction reminds me of Brighton. Richmond may be Newcastle East”

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Settling into Newcastle as a Stay at Home Dad, Justin began dabbling in his passion of bamboo. He set up a nursery in his backyard after sourcing an Australian Supplier and started retailing on Gumtree.

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Now having grown to bigger premises, Justins passion and hobby has turned into a job that he loves; Zen Bamboo 

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We caught up with Justin and his plants recently and took a look through a few bamboo varieties he is growing here in Newcastle.

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Justin has a relaxed outdoor vibe, with his “office” nestled among the plants and an enthusiasm for the job that only comes from doing what you love.

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With horticultural training, he is expanding into landscape design, project managing bamboo gardens and services to contain and maintain the plants.

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New Installation in Cooks Hill

“Bamboo has gained a bad name due to the invasive nature of the old types grown here, and also dumping which then grows out of control.” Justin explains

“But we now have clumping varieties available and also management systems”

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Clumping species and narrow species are planted with a root corridor carefully planned out and managed by Zen Bamboo. Barriers keep the plants growing in corridors, exactly where you want them.

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There are over 1500 different species of bamboo. Some, like the Oldhami Variety can grow up to 12m high and 10cm in diameter.

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110 varieties have edible shoots, like the P.Dulcis variety which are delicious in stir fry and have a higher protein content than any other vegetable.

Food is not the only thing that makes bamboo such a valuable plant in the asian economy – It is utilised for many things from building materials, arts and crafts, beer, clothing and manufacturing.

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Here in Newcastle though, we value it for its beautful tall green form, swaying softly in the breeze.

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Being named in the Guinness Book of World Records for worlds fastest growing plant, it creates instant privacy and a feeling of calm, tropical relaxation.

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Technically a giant grass, bamboo is also excellent at carbon capture; so a pretty garden can also contribute to the protection of the earths resources!

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Love this? Check out our previous blog on a gorgeous Tighes Hill property styled with some of this gorgeous giant grass here 

Loscocco Luxe

A stunning restoration of heritage and character has transformed this turn of the century building, Loscocco, into a four bedroom, three bathroom luxury home.

After the construction of a bridge over Throsby Creek in 1877, Tighes Hill quickly began developing into a busy town. The next 30 years would see a school, post office, church and shops pop up in this community.

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This property was developed around the turn of the Century, along with these local landmarks, and has now been named ‘Loscocco’ after its original owners .

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“Loscocco”  at 14 Union Street is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom federation home with off street parking for 2 vehicles; a rare find in such a trendy and highly sought after town.

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The original home would have been very grand when first built, ornate fireplaces and large open rooms.

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The home has been carefully restored and rejuvenated.

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Many of the original features have been retained but modern inclusions have resulted in a large family home with modern conveniences and luxuries, including a gloss stone bath.

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The home has been completely rewired and re-plumbed and has ducted air conditioning.

2 large living areas open onto a private garden, a wrap around verandah and  a new large deck making this home a wonderful place to entertain.

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The home is on a substantial 445m2 of land.

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An  additional bedroom and ensuite, sits at the rear inside the free standing self-contained granny flat.

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The kitchen shines with a 2 pack finish and Cesar stone bench top.

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There is also a large butlers pantry hidden behind the main kitchen which has direct access to the garage.

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Black stainless steel Siemens appliances include an induction cook top, oven with activeClean automatic self-cleaning function,  integrated dishwasher and  range hood.

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3 bedrooms inside the home each have unique features both historical and modern.

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The master bedroom features a designer ensuite, private seclusion at the front of the home and bright high windows.

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There is quirky and funky around every corner.

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Contrasts like exposed brickwork against contemporary bathrooms keep surprising as you move through this impressive home.

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Open plan living areas are complemented by an inviting separate lounge room, a place to slip away and relax, while the breeze flows in the french doors.

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The al-fresco entertaining on the industrial-meets-federation decking flows effortlessly from the open plan living and kitchen

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Contact Villager Property for any further enquiries.

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Auction at 12:00 pm on Sunday, 14 May 2017 On Site


Home on Hewison with Hans

What first strikes you about this charming traditional cottage in Tighes Hill, is the delightful blend of heritage and modern architectural design.

The scent of magnolia wafts in the breeze as you pass the white picket fence and step onto the welcoming front porch.
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Wide Blackbutt floorboards lead your eye from the front door, complete with snoozing Shar-Pei Hans, and out into the wide open plan living spaces.
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What first strikes you about this charming traditional cottage in Tighes Hill, is the delightful blend of heritage and modern architectural design.
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Retaining all the warmth and quirk of the original home, the 2015 extension has created a bright and functional five bedroom home with impeccable attention to detail.
“This was built as a forever-home,”  the owner Belinda tells us.
The growing family have adored living a vibrant Novacastrian life from this stunning base.
But it’s time to move on, so this home is looking for new owners.
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The designer renovation was seamlessly completed in 2015, with this home now boasting five bedrooms all with built-ins.
The master bedroom is a parent’s retreat with ensuite, walk in robe and french door access to the bright front porch.
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Cooking and gathering happens literally in the heart of the home in the beautiful Caesar stone kitchen with stainless steel gas cooking.
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Then choose to eat a meal in the scenic dining room or alfresco on the deck.
For entertaining and active little legs, there are plenty of large open areas where the laughter will flow …
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… plus quiet nooks located throughout to sit, relax and enjoy …
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To keep everyone comfortable there’s air conditioning, plenty of storage and a shed in the backyard with a workshop.
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Work from home? Or just really love your Netflix?
Two CAT6 network ports are installed in every bedroom, study nook and TV location for seamless HD streaming.
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Share produce from the edible garden, brimming with strawberries and citrus and enjoy time in the fully fenced secure backyard.
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 Tighes Hill is on-trend and Hewison Street is the ideal location, just walking distance to Tighes Hill Public School, TAFE, public transport, playground, parks and cycleways, yet is still quiet and community centered.
You’re also just a short drive to Newcastle CBD and world class beaches.
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Coming Up Collins

So what does a training regime look like for someone preparing to be an Ironman champion?


Daniel Collins started out spending every weekend at the beach when he was still in his stroller, his family dragging him from beach to beach to watch his father compete as a Surf Boat rower.


From there it was a natural progression into Nippers for Daniel and his two sisters, starting at Merewether then moving onto Redhead.


Training under Ross Blatchford, Daniel’s commitment to swimming and Surf Lifesaving has seen him go on to represent NSW and Australia at many competitions.


“I love Surf Lifesaving. It’s such a challenging sport and it’s always a surprise as to who will win – it’s never boring,” Daniel tells us as we sit down to wish him luck for his upcoming comp.


One of his most memorable moments happened in 2014 when he was selected to represent Australia in the Junior World Surf Lifesaving Championships against more than forty countries in France.

“I remember sitting on the lounge, a little while after I had done the trials, it was about 8pm,” Daniels says. “The phone rang and they said You’ve been chosen in the World’s team, do you accept? All while I was shaking and Mum was asking Who is it? I replied – Yes of course I accept!


‘‘Getting picked in the Australian team recognises you as one of the top for your age group and the next step will be moving on to the open leagues, the Nutri-Grain series, so it’s a great stepping stone,’’ Daniel had said of his selection in 2014.

Now, Daniel is currently training for the 2017 Nutri-Grain Ironman Finals Series.


Certainly a very exciting time for the young athlete and Villager Property are very proud to be a part of Daniels sponsorship team and supporters.


So what does a training regime look like for someone preparing to be an Ironman champion?

“I have two sessions a day, that involves running, swimming, a ski session and a board session. The Merewether stairs get a good workout too,” Daniels tells us. “It’s basically sleep, eat, train, repeat.”

Daniel outlines his weekly training schedule which includes:

Swim: 35 km

Paddle: 20km

Run: 15km

Board: 20km

Of course, thinking about all this hard core training led us to ask Daniel what he eats to keep his energy and body in optimal condition.


“Whatever Mum puts on my plate!” He laughs.

“I love lasagne. Mum’s lasagne is the best – that’s race food.”

Daniel is also attending University, studying Exercise Science to further his career in sport and his passion for the body and how to train it.

Daniel competes in the Nutri-Grain Lifesaving Championships which are being held on the 26th and 27th of November.


Daniel will be wearing number 17, so be sure to watch out for him on the day!


Hilltop Haven

Only minutes to the CBD, Newcastle’s cultural hot spots and transport – this one is perfect for those looking for a beautiful nest, high on the hill to enjoy the views and the lifestyle of inner city Newcastle.


Imagine living so close to Darby Street, Bar Beach and the Anzac Walk that a scenic stroll, crave worthy dining and world class swimming is practically just in your backyard.


This unit at The Hill puts you in the center of the action, while providing a bright and private haven with modern touches such as open plan living and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.




All this is adjacent to the most spectacular al-fresco balcony with expansive views over Newcastle’s CBD and Harbour – a place where you can sit and soak in the view from coffee time to champagne time: your own live-in lookout.



2 light and comfortable bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and easy access to the large bathroom. The bathroom features extra storage and an internal laundry.


The master bedroom is adjacent to the balcony, enjoying the breeze from the harbour below.


There is convenient off street parking under the carport, and an additional outdoor area within the welcoming front patio.


Only minutes to the CBD, Newcastle’s cultural hot spots and transport – this one is perfect for those looking for a beautiful nest, high on the hill to enjoy the views and the lifestyle of inner city Newcastle.


Contact Villager Property to enquire about this haven on the hilltop.

Loving Life on Buxton Lane

This home has been transformed with a floorpan that encourages you to love living life on Buxton Lane.

Original Beauty is part of the very fibre of this home – and you notice that from the moment you step inside of this gorgeous welcome hall.


Decorative original features blend seamlessly with modern touches into an open plan space where beauty and functionality become one.14-buxton-adamstown-7

This bright space evokes a stylish lifestyle of entertaining, authentic family living and alfresco afternoons.

3 bedrooms are all wonderfully appointed, 2 with with built in robes and all with views of trees, some breeze and an invitation of Zees.



There are 2 bathrooms – the large family bathroom and a handy shower and toilet adjacent to the internal laundry.


 Stunning street appeal with landscaped gardens, decorative patio and colour coordinated garage with internal access to the home.


Easy walking distance to Brunker Road shops, and only a moments drive to shopping at Westfield Kotara or 10 mins to Newcastle CBD. When you return home with all that shopping – there is a good sized kitchen here to exercise your culinary skills while still enjoying the view and open plan living.



 Polished floorboards, decorative trim in the hallways, glass french doors to backyard and side patio, and a deep relaxing bath are just some of the special touches you will love in this home.


The landscaped backyard with lawn, paved courtyard, established trees and an undercover entertaining deck to enjoy it all from.


This traditional home has been redesigned into a floorpan that encourages you to love living life on Buxton Lane.


If you have liked what you have seen give us a call and we can show you inside this gorgeous Adamstown property. 

Virtual Village

We recommend 10 fave instagram accounts of ours to keep you inspired, up to date and continuing to fall in love with our beautiful home #newcastle.

That cute pink app on your phone is great for sharing your weekend pics with friends and filtering your cappuccino not just with a coffee filter but with a touch of Clarendon or Lo-Fi. Its also the ideal little hub of inspiration and local knowledge; from deciding your next place to dine in town, or finding a new picnic spot!

This morning we all knew it was too foggy to spot Nobbys Lighthouse from the kiosk and  that it was a beautiful afternoon for walking the esplanade all with the swish of our fingers and a few sneaky follows.

Newcastle is such a wonderful community IRL (in real life) but what’s the social media lowdown on our virtual village?

Below we recommend 10 fave instagram accounts of ours to keep you inspired, up to date and continuing to fall in love with our beautiful home #newcastle.

insta-blogs-41. CRAVE NEWCASTLE  Do yourself a flavor, grab a napkin because this link may make you drool. Crave dishes out all the local knowledge on the whos who of culinary experiences in Newcastle – a great feed to follow if you are looking for a local cafe to try, for the best dessert in cooks hill or just adore great food photography!

insta-blogs-22. DAILY SALT  Scott Harrison is the man behind this account. A self described saltwater lifestyle photographer who captures the golden glows, the bucket throws and the decisive moments at all the Newy beaches. A great one to follow for a bit of sunshine in your feed and some inspiration to get out in the water!

insta-blogs-83. DARBY STREET NEWCASTLE 2300  This account highlights all the goings on and happenings in our much loved Darby Street – follow along here for all the updates and trends at the cafes, boutiques and specialty stores all in one account!

insta-blogs-54. LEFT OF THE MIDDLE This account by local Mel has all the color pops and swoon worthy images to fall even deeper in love with our locale! Beautiful images from Newcastle, The Hunter and Beyond.

insta-blogs-65. NEWCASTLE HERALD What a digestible way to keep up to date! The Hunters largest media platform in action packed and timely squares! An interesting account to follow for some behind the scenes pics and great photojournalism.

insta-blogs-76. HIGH SWAN DIVE  All of us need a little greening in our lives – definitely by way of gorgeous house plants or at the very least in our insta-feed! This cute little Newcastle shop has a beautifully curated selection of pics from their latest ceramics in store and all the fine vinery and wispy weeping tendrils of lush green plants in their boutique.

insta-blogs-107. NEWY GIRL Kristy is a local wife and mum to 3 boys. This active family are regular explorers and adventurers and if you are interested in discovering along with this local family all the day trips on offer to us, including amazing hikes and hidden local treasures, check out this account.

insta-blogs-38. JOEL 772 A week ago we started following this account after the amazing post above where Joel discovered a “fever” of stingrays clustered near Merewether – since then we’ve been delighted with some lovely emerging drone photography. Worth a click.

insta-blogs-119. MY NEWCASTLE  This is a beautiful feature account for Newcastle  selects the most gorgeous and inspiring grams from our community and showcases them daily – a dreamy feed to follow and fall ever more deeply for our sun-drenched, vibrant community.

insta-blogs-910. VILLAGER PROPERTY OKay so we may be a teeny bit bias but we definitely think this one is a must follow! We showcase interiors, style and dreamy homes on our feed – all available in our wonderful village! Keep up to date with the team, see inside our gorgeous properties and get some home inspo all at once.

Enjoy – and feel free to leave us a comment on who your fave local accounts are!