I count myself lucky to be born in Australia's coffee capital of Melbourne and love to write about what's on in my home town.
Go native and get growing
Ask a local to describe the climate in Melbourne, a city which Wikipedia diplomatically describes as 'well known for its changeable weather conditions', and you'll likely receive a wry smile, followed by comments like 'four seasons in one day' or 'If you don't like it, wait five minutes and it will change'. We're accustomed to our weather's erratic patterns however, and so we simply pack an umbrella and sunscreen.
When it comes to gardening however, this changeability can be the cause of much consternation for Melburnians, both with and without a green thumb:
'What do I plant?'
Where should I plant it?' How much water does it need?'
Hidden amidst the towering gums that line Box Hill's Bushy Creek Trail, this little suburban gem demystifies the world of indigenous gardening and sets you on the path to creating a healthy, low maintenance garden based on native plants that actually like our climate and which, in many cases, do not need watering - a blessing in times of water restriction and drought.
Discover a range of native plants suited to our climate.
Open to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday morning (plus selected 'sale day' Saturdays), Greenlink Box Hill Nursery is a low-key affair staffed almost entirely by volunteers, but don't let this quiet exterior tempt you into making a dash to the local Bunnings store. Thanks to the huge amount of painstaking work input by a dedicated team of gardening enthusiasts, Greenlink provides an impressive array of affordable, healthy native plants to suit a range of needs including shrubs, wildflowers, ground covers, climbers, grasses and trees.
Plenty of healthy, affordable plants to choose from.
One of the best times to visit Greenlink is on a Saturday Sale Day. This event takes place several times a year, and provides a great opportunity to check out seasonal additions currently being fostered by nursery staff - for they do not simply pot the plants and line them up for sale, but seek out and gather seeds, germinate and nurture them as seedlings and maintain them until they become viable.
It all begins with seeds sourced from the local area.
No matter what your budget, visitors to the Saturday Sale Day at Greenlink will not leave empty handed, as everyone receives three free plants. If all the browsing and sale day specials make you peckish, you can also grab a snag from the sausage sizzle.
As Greenlink is located on a moderately busy residential street and does not have its own car park, your best bet is to park in one of the neighbouring side streets and walk down. A small cardboard box can also be handy if you plan to purchase more than a couple of plants which, at $2.00 each, makes good garden sense!