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
 

We have been run  off our feet in the nursery with the Covid 19 garden rush. However, I finally got time to fertilise, and plant some more spring bulbs. Nearly all the leaves are raked up, so now there is just the fun of a nice cut back and shaping prune left to do.  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. 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 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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Peas

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Apr 022019
 

Peas (Pisum sativum) are cool season legumes grown for their pods and seeds, they’re part of the Fabaceae family, along with other legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
Like the other members of this family, peas are nitrogen-fixing plants, with nodules along their roots in which symbiotic soil bacteria live. These bacteria convert nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use as a nutrient.
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Apr 012019
 

How to clean and disinfect old ceramic and terracotta garden pots

Given enough time, even the best quality ceramic and terracotta garden pots can be marred by mould, dirt stains, watermarks and efflorescence (the salty white bloom that you sometimes see on the outside of them). And those old garden pots that have been sitting by the front door or parked under the back veranda for years are sure to be showing their age. This is all well and good if you’re after that relaxed shabby-chic style or into the “distressed” look. But if you need to give them a good clean-up and want to return some of their former glory, help is at hand. If your pots have a salty white bloom on the outside, the best thing to do is brush it off with a dry scrubbing brush. Don’t use any water at this stage as it can cause the salts to be reabsorbed by the pot.

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Mar 212019
 

We do not all have access to large sunny gardens or even any garden at all. If you would like to grow food at home but feel like you don’t have the room, help is at hand.

If you have a small garden, or even just a balcony, there are many ways to grow food, using raised beds, pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. Easy to grow crops such as salad leaves, strawberries, Asian greens and herbs will grow happily in pots, and if you have room for a raised garden bed, then you can grow an even larger variety of vegetables.
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Violas

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Mar 122019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Happy vibrant violas – easy to grow and easy to love.

Lower growing and more profusely flowering than pansies, their smaller flowers have the bright and bold colours associated with their larger cousins and are equally enchanting. They will flower most of the year, but avoid the summer sun, as excessive heat will make them yellow off. Great from early autumn all the way to the end of spring.
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Mar 022019
 

We really want to continue to operate on this site, supporting local artists and as a hub for our local community. We need to convince the EES panel that it is worth redesigning the construction compound so that we can stay and continue.

BAAG has been operating from this site for over 50 years, and under the current family ownership for 35 years. We are proud to be an integral part of the local community, and our approach is driven by a continued commitment to nurturing creativity and sustainability. We strive to inspire, enable and educate our community to live in a more environmentally sustainable way.

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