Jul 262018
 

Bulleen Art & Garden is under serious threat from the proposed construction of the North-East Link. We are now asking our community help us to survive. BAAG is an innovative garden centre which provides a visitor experience not found anywhere else in Melbourne. Some people in the garden industry even say we are unique in the world with our focus on art, environment and a wide range of rare and unusual plants.

The planned path of the North East Link threatens the existence of not only Bulleen Art & Garden, but that of over 100 other local businesses… everything from pie makers to mechanics. Over 1000 jobs are at risk. Thanks to all who have signed our petition (It is below if you haven’t), but if you would still like to help there is more you can do.

Please help us by sending an email to NELA!

We are asking as many people as possible to send an email to the North East Link Authority and let them know why you think these businesses are vital to the local community. We know we don’t have to say this as all of our customers are wonderful… but please be nice when emailing! Reasoned and calm arguments always go further than anger!

You can email the North East Link Authority on this address: community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au
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Aug 012018
 

Well, the last weeks of winter are finally here, with the scent of Wattle signalling the promise of spring just around the corner. The first Magnolias are in flower and the gold and purple of Acacias and Hardenbergias create a dramatic floral display. The cold, frosty mornings are a prelude to the burst of new growth that heralds the coming new season of life. We have already had our fair share of frosty mornings and more are likely, so continue on with those frost damage prevention measures for a few more weeks yet.
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Jul 092018
 

An exhibition of sculpture by Christen Jo Stone of Stringybark Studio

Christen Jo Stone (Jo) has developed diverse arts skills and enjoys combining these, expressed in 3D forms. Having worked in many media including Jewellery, Textiles, letterpress Printing, and Basketry, Jo’s current work in Sculpture narrates the story of endangered species threatened by the destruction of their precious forest environment

July 6th – August 19th 2018

Demonstration in the gallery:

12-3pm 5th August 2018

Come and see Jo at work

More pictures and info at http://gallery.baag.com.au/?p=3874

Jun 282018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Winter can be a challenge, but it sure puts a rosy hue in your cheeks when you rug up, brave the elements and go about doing some of those winter gardening tasks which have been beckoning from outside. Enjoy a warm drink – and the satisfaction – when you come inside.

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Jun 192018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

English, Korean, Japanese and Dutch Box can all turn an annoying orangey bronze colour in winter. This bronzing is a natural response of this genus to cold and bright winter sun (cold winds don’t help either). It is not uncommon after a series of frosts (cold nights, sunny days) to get calls to the nursery from distressed gardeners about their bronzy box. This is more common in younger plants, but can also happen in mature plants. The plants are still healthy and will put fresh new green foliage on in spring. However, if your aim is to prevent this happening in the first place:

• In autumn, sweeten the soil with dolomite lime and feed well with all purpose fertiliser.
• Try to shield young Box plants from severe winds and strong winter sun, a temporary wind break is helpful.

If despite your best efforts your young box hedge goes bronze – don’t despair. Feed well in early spring and good new growth will soon emerge and your box will once again be a brilliant green. As they mature, the problem is less likely to occur.

Jun 132018
 

An exhibition by Jo Garner, Julie Walker and Nicola Hoyle.

Jo, Julie and Nicola work in a variety of mediums, but one of their common threads is their desire to find beauty in what others often discard. They find great joy in re purposing and re fashioning items that are often considered junk. Their arts practices are diverse; including mosaic, collage, steel fabrication, jewellery and print making. This exhibition will be an eclectic mix of colour, texture and pattern that showcases their sense of humour and love of making!

18th May to 1st July 2018

More pictures and info at http://gallery.baag.com.au/?p=3818

Celery

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Jun 072018
 

Celery

Apium graveolens

Recently I have been on a soup making blitz and using loads of celery, but in my mind it is a summer salad vegie, clearly I am mistaken… Here in Melbourne you can plant celery as soon as the last frost has passed, and/or in late summer, to have ready for soups in late autumn!
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Jun 072018
 

Agave geminiflora Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Agave geminiflora

Very popular in the nursery, this one always attracts comments from customers. Agave geminiflora is a symmetrical and architectural succulent with long narrow leaves tipped with a spine and edged with fine white curling filaments. Tough and drought tolerant. Will cope with full sun to half shade, but it needs good drainage. After 10 years or so it reaches around 80cm in diameter and will then send up twin flower spikes – sometimes up to 2.5m tall. They are very dramatic, but signal the end of the life of that plant – however, often the plant will set small pups around the edges, and these can be used to replace the original plant.
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Jun 072018
 

Photo by John Tann. Sourced from Wikipedia

It is the larval stage of these small flying insects that create the most havoc, but their numbers can build up to such a level that the flying gnat itself creates an unpleasant nuisance in the house. Small dark bodies with long legs and a single pair of wings, these small flying insects commonly live around a week before dying en masse, usually on your sunny windowsill just before your mother in law comes to visit.
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Jun 012018
 

A few years ago I wandered into the Wolf Bar in Carlton and was enveloped in the warm and heady nostalgic aroma of mulled wine. It shot me straight back to university days in the 70s and 80s, and  every June since has seen me reaching for cloves, cinnamon sticks and red wine. I just love this time of year: the satisfaction of a major clean and tidy up in the garden, planting for spring with all the hopes and promise ahead, the camellias in bloom and debating squeezing in just one more gorgeous tree only available in the bare root season. It may be getting chilly, but now I have my mulled wine. Read on!

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Heuchera

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May 312018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Common name ‘Coral Bells’ (Alumroot in the USA)

Originally a useful groundcover with attractive foliage and light airy flowers popular with honeyeaters. Now hybridised and bred to create a truly amazing array of leaf colours, and the flowers are relegated to an incidental bonus. They flower in late spring and surprisingly, they work well as cut flowers. Handy in the garden because they will cope with sun and shade, however in the Australian summer, they really need some protection from the full afternoon sun to look their best. They can also be cleverly combined with pots to contrast the leaves, lime yellow leaves in a blue pot, or marmalade leaves in a black pot look amazing.
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Rocket – Arugula

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May 202018
 

Rocket

Eruca sativa
Super fast and easy to grow. Remember where you have planted them, because to my mind, they can look a bit like weeds, and you can absent-mindedly pull them out when weeding…

The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible. Older larger leaves can be very bitter, for the best flavour, use the leaves when still small, well before flowering starts. The flowers can be used in salads, decorating drinks etc. The deeply cut leaves have a wonderfully pungent flavour with a mild bitterness adding bite and piquancy to salads, sandwiches, risotto, pizza, pasta and loads of other dishes.
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May 102018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

This group have so many different common names: we will try to cover them all and nail them down.

Radicchio Cichorium intybus
Also called Italian chicory, red endive and red chicory. Originating in the northern Italy town of Chioggia, giving the most commonly grown variety its full name of Radiccio Rosso di Chioggia. Similar in form to a cabbage but with vibrant purple red leaves and stark white ribs. Eaten fresh, it has a bitterness that cuts into rich fatty foods like salamis, prosciutto and pancetta, as well as soft and hard cheeses. The flavour contrasts well with the sweetness of pears and the saltiness of anchovies. Radiccio salad with pears, blue cheese, anchovies, prosciutto and scattered candied pecans, light balsamic dressing – heaven on a plate. Growing in Melbourne: Grow in a sunny spot over winter. Will cope easily with a light frost. Our hot summers tend to lead to bitterness, best in the cooler seasons. Protect from slugs and snails, but not particularly pest prone.
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Biochar

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May 072018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Absolutely on trend – but is it any good?

Biochar has been touted as a multi-pronged agricultural/horticultural and garden solution to improving soil fertility, lowering the need for artificial fertilisers, and a method of carbon sequestration. We are always keen to look into a safe, organic way of improving soils, thus increasing productivity. Read on for our conclusions:
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Apr 302018
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Autumn foliage at its most stunning. The cold days and nights bring out the deep reds, translucent oranges and butter yellows in our wonderful deciduous trees. Take the time to enjoy autumn’s late flowering salvias, wonderful quince fruit (with their heady scent) and savour the late season apples. Take a bolt to the Dandenongs and combine autumn colours with early flowering camellias. I just love this last hurrah before winter. So rug up and enjoy May in your garden!

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