Jul 012019
 

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 of a job well done – when you come inside.

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Jun 252019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

A healthy garden is full of life, from deep in the soil to the tree tops there should be fungi, bacteria, spiders, insects, worms, and innumerable other living creatures. These all cohabit in a generally harmonious way. Sometimes, however, a problem arises and the balance is temporarily upset. Reaching for an insecticide spray when aphids appear on your tender rose buds will often make the problem worse in the long run. Most insecticides are not prejudiced, they will kill everything, both the aphids and their natural predators.
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Jun 252019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Beneficial insects are insects you want in your garden, either for pollinating or for predating on pest insects. To encourage them into your garden you can provide them with nesting and hibernating sites, if a garden strewn with dead branches isn’t your thing, you may prefer to add in an insect hotel. These are particularly useful for solitary bees and solitary wasps.
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Jun 202019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Every garden is its own (or is a unique but connected) ecosystem containing an extraordinary array of living organisms including plants, fungi, bacteria, microbes, insects and animals that all impact on the health and resilience of the living network. We are each the stewards of our gardens, the actions that we take can positively or negatively impact on this ecosystem.
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Jun 152019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

To combat the appalling white fly invasion that was tormenting Melbourne gardeners in summer 2013 we introduced a parasitic wasp and a mite. They are susceptible to certain sprays – so we eliminated those pesticides to give them every chance to do their work. We saw a definite improvement in white fly control.
We used Montdorensis mites from and Encarsia formosa (parasitic wasp)

In 2015 we engaged the services of IPM Technologies and jumped feet first into managing our pests in a sensible and intelligently planned manner. This was a bit nerve wracking as it meant a lot more monitoring of pests and NOT reaching for the spray pack. Angelica from IPM Technologies regularly inspects the nursery and is the source of amazing photos of what is going on around the nursery. At this point we have not sprayed the roses at all (unheard of!) and spray once for Pear and Cherry slug. We introduced a predatory mite (Persimilis) into our poly tunnel which rapidly cleared up a burgeoning spider mite infestation before it became a problem. Apart from that, it has been a matter of watching and waiting and allowing the natural predators which were visibly there, to build up in numbers and control the aphids on the roses and hellebores, and the white fly on the shrubs and trees.

In 2019 Jen and Claire went to an industry training morning on IPM and came back fired up to increase the focus on our natural predators. As a result we have more insectory pots around the nursery planted with native species. These act as breeding grounds and food sources year round for our beneficial native insects.

Jun 012019
 


I have been lucky to have been able to spend much of my working life surrounded by plants; studying and working in the natural environment, in local gardens and in garden centres. Like many of us, I love the opportunity to get out of the city and into the wilderness, regrettably these days it doesn’t happen quite as often as I would like. Fortunately Melbourne has been gifted with an amazing combination of parks and reserves that provide us relief from our increasingly busy lives and a sanctuary for many native species that share our city and surrounds.
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Jun 012019
 

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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May 122019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

When I feel blue, or need a distraction from the stresses of life, I head into the garden! Time slows and my mood becomes lighter when my fingers are in the dirt and the intricacies of the world beyond my back door come to life before my eyes. There are many health benefits to be had from gardening. Here are a few of my favourites…

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Apr 302019
 

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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Apr 182019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Another day at the Arty Farty Festival in partnership with the Banyule Sustainability Hub where BAAG staff members Kat, Nicole and Amy did a workshop of how you can grow your seeds in pots made from old newspapers, and reducing waste overall by growing some of your herbs and vegies from seed. We love supporting this festival not only because it is out local community, but also because it is artistic, creative and fun!

Great to see lots of our friends down there who called over to say hello, and we made lots of new friends too, including Sam, who had the amazing Butterfly Adventure tent in a stall next to us.

Apr 172019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Plant tiles create stunning, alternative lawns and outdoor solutions instantly at half the cost of using traditional pots! Each tile covers the same area as ten traditional 100mm pots. As the plants grow, the roots bind the media together so that the Plant Tiles can be removed from the tray then laid on the area you have prepared. If required, simply cut to shape with scissors, then butt together and water in for complete coverage. Achieve full, green coverage instantly.
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Apr 122019
 

I love working in the garden. However when you have limited time and/or small children, sometimes the hard yakka you want to put into gardening is pushed down the list of priorities after changing nappies, making a kite, sticking feathers on a headband, doing the washing, walking to the playground…

So a few years ago my friend Ella and I started a fortnightly gardening group, to get our friends and their kids helping out in each other’s gardens – and finally do some of the things that had been waiting in line behind the nappies and feather headbands. We were also really conscious of how much our children loved helping in the garden, and we thought it would be a great environment for them to meet new friends and learn more about the earth!
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Apr 102019
 

The North East link process has been continuing, and we’ve actively been taking part. The EES (Environmental Effects) hearings spent 8 weeks looking into the impacts of NE link: tree removal, loss of open space, the complete loss of the Bulleen industrial precinct and the knock-on effect on over 100 small businesses and 1,000 jobs, and the many traffic and technical issues. We’re all still positive about the future of BAAG, but after two and a half years we still don’t have certainty!

But we’ve certainly had a lot of support, with 150 of the 850 submissions supporting the continuation of BAAG – this support was certainly noticed, and thanks are due to all those who took the time to either put in a submission or sign the petition. We really appreciate it and think it will help. We made quite a lengthy submission arguing that BAAG was of community benefit and should be retained under conditions where it can still operate successfully, and have requested that our site be excluded from a construction compound. There are no detailed designs for the project to date, but in a reference design that gives approximate project boundaries, BAAG is included within a potential construction compound.
You can see our submissions here and here.

We have also been recognised by a number of witnesses and submitters, but have had no official information from NELP. The committee is now assessing the evidence raised and will report to the minister within a couple of months – some businesses will find out if they will be acquired early next year, but others, potentially including BAAG, may need to wait until around October 2020 when detailed designs are released. We are also working on a number of committees associated with NE link and are optimistic about our future, but need to wait for certainty.

Apr 092019
 

butterfly

Join us in our bug tent on Tuesday the 16th between 11:30am and 1:30pm for our Marvellous Minibeasts program. Your kids will learn how to feed and handle stick insects, butterflies, giant litter bugs, yabbies and more. Children will also have the opportunity to catch aquatic minibeasts and view bugs up close with microscopes to discover bug features and adaptations.
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