Lucy Feagins

Lucy Feagins is the editor of The Design Files, Australia’s most popular design blog. Even though she lives in inner city Melbourne, Lucy manages to make nature a vital part of her family routine…

What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?

I live and work in inner city Melbourne, so I must admit I don’t get out in nature as much as I would like to! However one thing I really appreciate is Melbourne’s inner city parks: Carlton Gardens is the most beautiful park, five minutes walk from my home, and it really is like our backyard. It’s a really ‘old-fashioned’ park, with enormous oak trees lining the paths, and lush lawn areas for picnics and parties. We spend time there most weekends, and it’s where we’ve held many of my daughter’s birthday celebrations over the years. Over the past two years during lockdowns in Melbourne, it was such a gift having this beautiful park on our doorstep. 

Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life? 

Being in nature is like a refuge from the daily grind, it is so grounding. When I’m outside– either at a park or perhaps going for a walk or run by the Yarra River—it’s one of the only times I really feel that the distractions of work and emails and social media fade, and I can truly be ‘in the moment.’

What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?

I grew up in London: very much a city kid. But every second year we would travel as a family to Adelaide, to visit my grandparents and cousins in Australia. We would spend the summer with my grandparents at West Beach Caravan Park, and it was such a world away from my usual life in London! I had never seen a palm tree in real life before that, and I remember thinking they looked like drawings in a cartoon or comic book! I would spend all day at the beach with my cousins, getting my toes burnt on the hot sand, eating ice creams everyday, and splashing in the ocean. Those were the days…

Many of us are time-poor and might not get out into nature as much as we’d like. Any suggestions for a quick nature-based pick-me up? Something sensory, experiential…? 

I love to let fresh air into my home, especially in the evenings. Open every openable window (if you can!) and let the breeze really travel through your house or apartment. Even if it’s a cool evening, I do this most nights: it’s just so invigorating to refresh the stale air in the house, and take a moment to breathe deeply before tackling your evening to-do list!