Permanent Artworks at Bulleen Art & Garden

Permanent Artworks at Bulleen Art & Garden

Ceramic Tile Mural by Joe Raneri Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

BAAG is privileged to operate in one of the most culturally significant regions for art in Melbourne, often referred to as the Valley of the Arts. The two most important Australian art movements, the Heidelberg School and the Angry Penguins, originated in this area. Heide Museum of Modern Art, which is just across the park from BAAG is an iconic art venue.

BAAG has placed emphasis on the arts and creativity in response to this location, and also the passion of the proprietors and some staff for the arts. This has enabled us to develop a unique identity, atmosphere and experience at BAAG. One way of furthering those aims is shown by incorporating an increasing array of artworks in the structural fabric of BAAG and adopting a creative approach everything that we do.

For more pics and information on the permanent artworks at BAAG, head to

What is Urban Ecology? – A few thoughts from BAAG’s CEO

What is Urban Ecology? – A few thoughts from BAAG’s CEO

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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BAAG at the 2019 Banyule Arty Farty Festival

BAAG at the 2019 Banyule Arty Farty Festival

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.

Starting a gardening group

Starting a gardening group

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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North East Link Updates

North East Link Updates

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.

A living gift for your favourite teachers

A living gift for your favourite teachers

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

The end of the school year often means madly grabbing that box of chocolates or bunch of flowers for your children’s teacher while racing about doing a million other jobs. Why not try something a little different this year and help your kids to decorate a small terracotta pot and plant it out with herbs or flowers. These make a very personal and practical gift for their teachers, and the kids will have a blast designing, painting and planting them. Hamlet the cat approves of this project. Read on to find out how to do it.
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Bugs Detected at Parkland Behind Bulleen Art and Garden

Bugs Detected at Parkland Behind Bulleen Art and Garden

On Sunday 20th of October, 10am, a group of local Junior Bug Detectives undertook an hour long investigation of the area behind Bulleen Art & Garden, by the river, and can confirm that bugs were indeed “detected”. Kat lead a team of young, but more than qualified team, who uncovered more than 20 different species of mini beasts at the investigation site.
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What to do with your excess produce

What to do with your excess produce

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Gluts, gluts, gluts. Funny word, but gluts in your produce garden are rather unfunny if you can’t get rid of the excess. It’s a familiar story: joy as we watch the new season’s vegetable and fruit crops starting out healthy and abundant, and our disappointment with the waste when crops become over-productive.

So if you’re sick of eating zucchini slice for dinner every night, and need some ideas about how to stop those tomatoes sagging on the bench, the peaches from piling up, and getting rid of the rocket before it goes bitter, then read on!
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BAAG Park and Community Partnerships

BAAG Park and Community Partnerships

BAAG has been working to improve habitat, protect local ecosystems and plant species in the Little Bolin Parkland adjoining our garden centre for the past 16 years in partnership with:

* Friends of Yarra Valley Parks
* Parks Victoria
* The Local Community
* Melbourne Water
* Wally the wombat, his family and friends

Friends of the Yarra Valley Parks
The FYVP believe that the Yarra Valley Parklands has the potential to become one of the great urban conservation parks. Their activities include plant propagation, planting and weed removal. They work with Parks Victoria rangers and focus our efforts in parks along the Yarra River from Burke Rd Ivanhoe upstream to Warrandyte. There are also loads of other conservation groups in the Yarra Valley to choose from. Give one a go today!
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Joe’s Beautiful Seats

You know the seats… you’ve probably all sat on one them at one time or another. The beautiful tiled concrete seats along Brunswick Street were made a few years back by our very own giftshop guru Guiseppe Raneri. Bruce (BAAG’s co-owner for the past few decades) was very proud of himself for working out how to use the camera in his flash new smartphone. The German tourists pictured here were very patient as Bruce pressed quite a few buttons in order to grab this great shot.

Friends of the Yarra Valley Parks

The Friends of Yarra Valley Parks is a group whose primary aim is to involve the wider community in conservation issues and activities within the Yarra Valley Parklands. They believe that the Yarra Valley Parklands has the potential to become one of the great urban conservation parks. Their activities include plant propagation, planting and weed removal. FYVP work with Parks Victoria rangers and focus their efforts in parks along the Yarra River from Burke Rd, Ivanhoe upstream to Warrandyte.
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Bolin Bolin Billabong

Manna Gum

Manna Gum

@ Bulleen Park
Sculptor: Simon Horsburgh.

This sculpture (pictured right), inspired by eucalypt blossoms, marks the start of the Bolin Bolin Cultural Landscape Trail. This trail passes through an area which was an important gathering place for the local Wurundjeri people, due to its seasonal abundance of food. They frequented the area when the billabongs were low and the eucalypts flowering and they collect the nectar. The indigenous flora was highly significant for the Wurundjeri, who were also known as the Manna Gum People.

It was commissioned by the Bolin Bolin Steering Committee, funded by the City of Manningham and made with recycled materials donated by Bulleen Art & Garden.

The launch of this sculpture was held next to the sculpture in Bulleen Park on 5th May, 2004. Lesley Always, Director of Heide MOMA was be the special guest and Cr John Bruce officiated.

About Bolin Bolin

The Bolin Bolin Cultural Landscape Precinct is part of the “Valley of the Arts”, which derives its identity from its arts and cultural heritage. Places of interest include Heide MOMA, Banksia Park, Bulleen Art and Garden, the Bolin Bolin Billabong, the Veneto Club and Bulleen Park.

The proposed Bolin Bolin Cultural Landscape Trail weaves its way through bushland and a series of billabongs across the Yarra from the Artists Trail, acting as a link for the area.

The Bolin Bolin Precinct can be developed to have an ecotourism identity, with its high environmental and cultural significance in a suburban area so close to the city.

This is a community project designed to give an identity to, promote, protect and enhance the precinct. It has been led by a steering committee with representatives from Parks Victoria, the City of Manningham, Heide MOMA and Bulleen Art & Garden with input from others such as Melbourne Water, the Veneto Club, the Kulin Nation. The launch of this project has been planned to increase interest and local involvement in the area.


This area of the Yarra is an area of inspirational natural beauty and ecological complexity encompassing wetlands and wooded areas next to the Yarra River. It is a tranquil and secluded contrast to surrounding suburbia.

There are still many significant stands of plants indigenous to the area as well as exotic plantings reflecting the European influence. However, there is also significant weed growth.
Weed control and revegetation are an integral part of the Bolin Bolin project. Significant inroads have already been made into controlling weed species in the area by Parks Victoria, Bulleen Art & Garden, Melbourne Water and the City of Manningham, but an ongoing program is needed. Indigenous plantings and distinctive interpretative signage with a strong environmental message is proposed.

Proposed Bolin Bolin Cultural Landscape Trail

Currently it is possible to walk along most of the riverbank between Heide MOMA and Bulleen Park. Part of the Bolin Bolin project is to improve access to and promote this low key trai linking the area.

Cultural Significance

Aboriginal. The Bolin Bolin billabong has long been an important site as it was a meeting place for the Kulin Nation and has considerable significance to the Wurundjeri history. Projects around the Bolin Bolin Billabong will be proposed to celebrate and educate about aboriginal culture.
A proposed indigenous food plant garden at the rear of Bulleen Art & Garden, will help describe the aboriginal relationship to the land and its natural vegetation.

White Settlement, in this area occurred early in Melbourne’s history.

Other ethnic communities, such as Italian, Chinese and Greek are well represented in the area.

Arts in the Bolin Bolin Precinct

Heide MOMA. The site of some of the most important developments in Australian art this century, and the gathering place of the ‘angry penguins’, including Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker.

Major redevelopments of Heide MOMA and Banksia Park are important on a national, state, regional and local level, extending attractions including galleries, restaurant and auditorium; sculptures and landscape treatments

Heidelberg School. This area is where the first significant Australian art movement started.

The Heidelberg School Artists Trail is directly across the Yarra.

Bulleen Art & Garden has a 3D mural and gallery, with further plans.

Contemporary and Community Art & Craft. There is a continuing tradition of artistic endeavour in the area. It is hoped to feature local arts, and involve the local community along the trail.

Current Projects in the Bolin Bolin Precinct

  • Planning

  • Development of map of the area.

  • Weed control & canopy planting along the trail.

  • Indigenous Gardens at rear of Bulleen Art & Garden.

Future Projects for the Bolin Bolin Precinct.

The Bolin Bolin Cultural landscape Trail is at the stage of involving the wider community. There is an opportunity to undertake new projects with business and community sponsorship, government grants and community involvement.

  • Upgrade of trail and new boardwalk over Billabong at rear of Bulleen Art & Garden

  • Informative and educational Signage.

  • Trail upgrades

  • Viewing platforms near river.

  • Weed control & revegetation.

  • Silver Wattle stand

  • Distinctive entrances and seats.

  • Banksia stand

  • Indigenous food Garden adjoining Bulleen Art & Garden

  • Culverts for drainage.

  • Small side foot tracks off main trail.

  • Information/plantings representative of cultural groups

  • Sculptures

  • Community arts projects.