Extraordinary Routines

Extraordinary Routines · Georgina Reid

Madeleine Dore of Extraordinary Routines joins us again today, introducing the daily routine of someone we know very well!

Sydney based Georgina Reid is a landscape designer, founder and editor of The Planthunter, and our own monthly gardens columnist.  She’s an endlessly impressive human who inspires us with her consistently brilliant content, her dry sense of humour, her extensive knowledge of latin plant names (!) and her truly unique way of talking about all things green. It’s so nice to learn a little more about Georgina through Madeleine’s eyes!



Madeleine Dore

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter and Bess the dog. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Georgina gardening at home. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Georgina at work in her garden, she splits her time between producing content for The Planthunter, and working as a garden designer at Reid & Friends. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Georgina’s little courtyard garden in Sydney. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Lots of lush greenery in the workspace of Georgina Reid. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Georgina at work in her home studio. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Lots of lush greenery in the workspace of Georgina Reid. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

The cemetery where Georgina and Bess the dog spend every lunch time. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Georgina and Bess on their daily lunchtime walk. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Madeleine Dore
11th of September 2015

There’s really no one else in the same realm as Georgina Reid and The Planthunter. Launched in November 2013, the online magazine is a celebration of the connection between people and plants, and offers a fresh perspective on that integral relationship.

Today, Georgina’s creation boasts over 80 contributors, with regular articles centered around monthly themes – from the Desire issue where readers shared their ultimate fantasies for getting frisky outdoors, to Medicine, where Lisa Marie Corso recounted some potent experiences with natural remedies!

‘It has been a crazy ride,’ said Georgina, who wasn’t expecting people to pay any attention. In an instant, The Planthunter garnered wide recognition for its unique approach to the subject matter, and its striking and intelligent content.

But being flung into the public eye can be daunting, even for someone as charismatic as Georgina. ‘I spent most of last year wanting to run away and just hide because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. It was really confronting in a lot of ways, and I was feeling really strung out about what I should and shouldn’t be doing.’

Georgina admits The Planthunter is still a total obsession, but she has learned to feel a lot more relaxed about it. ‘I’ve realised I don’t have the energy to be anxious about in anymore.’

While The Planthunter may be all-consuming, impressively Georgina manages to squeeze in a monthly column here on The Design Files, freelance writing, speaking gigs, and continues to do landscape design work through her studio, Reid & Friends.

Such a busy schedule has inspired Georgina to adopt a routine for the first time in her life! ‘I’ve never been a structured person or had a routine – I would just exist and wander along,’ she laughed.

‘I can still afford to do the wandering – and I think that is actually really important – but I need to give myself some structure and breathing room.’

From early morning ‘romantic’ meditation with her partner to her new rules for social media, to-lists and managing the daily juggle, somewhere in between Georgina shares how it’s possible to find stillness and simplicity amongst the chaos.

Georgina Reid’s Extraordinary Routine

I’m not a very ‘routined’ woman so when I wake up can depend, but usually around 6.00 or 6.30. In winter it is a bit later because I can never get out of bed, but I do like to get up early. As soon as I wake up my brain is already buzzing and it is all The Planthunter related – that can be really consuming.

I try to meditate with my partner Ameli (it’s pretty romantic!) for about fifteen minutes each morning. It is hard work – you don’t just click your fingers, empty your mind and instantly feel better.

But I think meditation does provide a bit of perspective and groundedness for me. That sounds a bit wanky given that I work with the ground, well plants, but it does help balance the craziness of the rest of it.

I have a coffee with Ameli, that is our little morning ritual. We make a little stovetop espresso and sit down in the garden or on the back step. After coffee I usually check my emails, it’s unavoidable, but I try not to get too much into it until I get to the office.

After coffee I get out the door as fast as I can and walk to work with my dog. My rule for this year has been no social media or email stuff on the way to and from work. I feel like I can’t afford to have my head in the digital world all the time. I think it’s not very healthy and it becomes easy to lose perspective of the important things, I guess.

I generally make a list when I get to work. It’s so funny I’ve never been this person! I have a notebook and I write down all the things I need to do and all the emails I need to reply to. Then I figure out what the most important thing is and try and do it.

I try to break my week up as well, because I need to make money and The Planthunter isn’t quite there in terms of supporting me financially, unfortunately. So I need to factor in my other paid work such as freelance writing and landscape design jobs.

The Planthunter is always top priority even though it shouldn’t be! It just takes over. It is a total beast!

Breakfast time. I eat breakfast at work – porridge in winter, or muesli, fruit and yoghurt in the warmer months. I can’t eat at home because then I’m hungry by 10am.

Bess the dog is my little time-keeper. At midday she is harassing me for a walk so we go to the beautiful old graveyard down the street, which is my favourite place in Sydney. It sounds silly because it is a cemetery, but it has this really nice sense of stillness and a wonderful energy.

Again I have my no phone rule during the walk. I sound like such a rules person. That is really weird! I just need to manage my sanity, I think?

I am a bit of a foodie, and prefer my own cooking to most takeaway joints, so I generally eat leftovers for lunch, normally back at the computer though.

I have grand plans of more structure in my workdays but haven’t quite got there yet. This involves checking emails, doing two hours of uninterrupted work and then checking emails again, rather than distracting myself by checking them every five minutes!

I think the driver for all these weird rules and lists is that I don’t have enough time to do everything, I feel like I’m always scrambling. I can’t afford to waste time on things that aren’t top priority, so I’m constantly trying to make myself super, super efficient.

I do use an app called Anti Social to block email and social media for a certain time so I sometimes do that if I need to write something and I’m not focusing.

The Planthunter publishes maybe three to five stories a week and I write maybe two or three. I spend a lot of time editing, resizing images, emailing contributors and managing all of that sort of stuff.

Really it’s all smoke and mirrors. People see something on Instagram or whatever and assume that all this exciting stuff is happening, but the reality is I’m working my ass off and I’m not going out doing anything interesting because I am focusing on producing content and keeping it all together.

If I don’t have the dog I might stay till 6.30 but I generally leave around 5.30pm. I usually think about what I am going to cook on my way home. Cooking is my little outlet at the end of the day – I really enjoy it, and I really enjoy eating. Cooking and plants are the best.

My partner has 10-year-old twin daughters and we have them week on, week off. If they’re staying with us we will eat and then do homework or make something crafty and chat. If not, we may head out on a hot date somewhere local. We don’t watch TV, but check iView occasionally to see if the world is still there.

During the week I am a bit of a homebody. I grew up on a farm and really love space and solitude. I actually really enjoy just being on my own. I sound like such a hermit but I don’t think I need a whole lot of people around me to tell me who I am or define myself by.

I don’t do work at night because my brain goes to mush when the sun goes down. Things take me ten times longer at night than in the morning– that’s why I get to work early.

I’m a moderate human really. I think it is really important to contain work and make room for life. This is why I try so hard to be efficient during weekdays so I don’t have to be chasing my tail 24/7. I might do a couple of hours work on the weekend, but it doesn’t feel like a chore.

Reading in bed is my guilty pleasure so I’ll usually go to bed around 9.00 and I’ll read until 9.30 or 10.00pm. Sometimes I go to bed and think I’m going to read and just fall asleep straight away.

It’s cliché, but life is extremely short and we spend a lot of time chasing things that aren’t particularly good or valuable. It is more about identifying the things that aren’t going to make you happy and seeing what does. For me, I think spaces can, people can, but I think truth also does. Your own truth. Mine is nature and plants and food.

Georgina and Bess. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

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