Celebrate with FREE talks, discounts, party, food & festival
Melbourne's iconic garden centre, Bulleen Art and Garden (BAAG), are celebrating their 50th Anniversary. To commemorate the occasion there will be an extended birthday celebration and festival which will start on Thursday 30th November and continue over the weekend of December 2nd and 3rd.
This is a free event with informative talks on growing your own food, art sculpture in the garden, opening of a new art gallery, kids workshop, showcase of the 50 year history and more.
'Still Life' sculpture by Lachlkan Plain, which symbolises BAAGs commitment to promoting home-grown food
Located at 6 Manningham Rd West, Bulleen, it is very easy to find, because you can't miss it with the bright colours and garden art out the front. If the front car park is full, there is ample parking out the back. If you've not been there before, or even if you have, I recommend you make sure your boot is empty when you arrive.
To go for a walk down memory lane, in 1967 it began when Kenny Edwards opened Bulleen Nursery. In 1982 along came Bruce and Meredith Plain who took over, it then became known as Bulleen Art & Garden.
A walk down memory lane
There have been many changes and fun times over the years, especially with gardening, sculpture and art. A fun time, that is remembered fondly by the owners, was when there was a working irrigation display which was set up on a mezzanine. This created loads of fun for kids who would watch to see how many innocent visitors that they could target and soak.
Beyond gardening and art, BAAG has a heavy focus on community and sustainable living. As a result, they have become an information hub for the local community on edible gardens and sustainability.
In 2007 BAAG led the way with the addition of an edible 'Food Forest', an edible parterre garden, a chook pen and sustainable gardening classes for the local community. You can find out more about the classes here.
In 2009, a not-for-profit local community veggie swap began and still runs today, where locals can swap their excess produce with each other. This is held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10-11 am.
For the lovers of art, in 1995 the Bolin Bolin Art Gallery was opened to showcase local artists. A wide variety of art has been featured in the gallery, with garden sculpture always being popular, as well as sculpture from recycled materials, ceramic metal and stone sculpture, mosaics, pottery, textiles, glass, paintings, photographs, installation and more. In 2015 the gallery celebrated its 20th birthday by building a new gallery.
Sculpture by Melissa Thomas, who will have work in the Sculpture Garden
Art workshops began at BAAG in 2000, so that the local community could discover their own creativity. They have been incredibly popular for those wanting to release their inner artist. Here is more information for the art workshops.
Sculptor Nicola Hoyle's touch of magic to the space
As a part of the celebrations, there will be the official launch of the new Sculpture Garden. The works on display will include sculptures by Nicola Hoyle, Darren Gilbert, Melissa Thomas, Tim Read, Meredith Plain and others.
Sustainable Living with help from the garden
The celebrations begin on Thursday 30th November, 6pm - 8pm with a special Birthday Party evening. And what a night this will be! Highlights of this night include
• An exciting new art space will be opened, The Sculpture Garden, which is an outdoor space displaying garden sculpture.
• Meet and greet local artists exhibiting in the new sculpture garden
• Viewing of the Christmas exhibition in the gallery
Explore the nursery at night, it has a totally different feel, than during the day.
• You'll be able to enjoy drinks, nibbles, speeches, stories, special talks and birthday cake.
• A $20 BAAG Plant Voucher for every $100 spent on sculpture and artworks. This is offered for this one night only!
The program of free events over the weekend includes Saturday 2nd December
10:30am – Hands on kids workshop
2:30pm - Using Sculpture in the Garden, with local artist and BAAG Gallery curator Meredith Plain. There will be a slide presentation with many images giving people ideas on how they can create their own sculpture gardens. This will be followed by a walk through the new sculpture garden.
Sunday, 3rd Dececember
2:30pm - Growing Avocados and Other Subtropical and Tropical Fruit with BAAG's permaculture guru, Angelo Eliades
3:30pm - Grafting workshop with John Pinniger, from Heritage Fruits Society
While you're there, make sure you see the slideshow of the photographic history of the site, ranging from 50 years ago to today.
And if that's not enough, over the weekend you will be given a $10 voucher for every $100 spent at BAAG.
There will be something for everyone who is into gardening, art and sustainability, so mark it in your diary and make sure you don't miss this milestone event!