Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published March 6th 2016
Get the Best from Your Garden
Top Melbourne Workshops for the Home Gardener
What could be more quintessentially Aussie than your own home with a veggie garden in the back yard and a flower garden in the front? Aussie yards may be shrinking with the popularity of the easy to manage cottage block but an interest in gardens is alive and well. To get the best out of your gardens and meet likeminded people just pop along to one of the many reasonably priced courses and workshops available across the city.
They also run art classes, a plant nursery, a landscape supply and gift shop, and provide a consultancy service.
Bulleen Art and Garden is at 6 Manningham Road West, Bulleen. Costs for courses vary but are typically between $25 and $75. Find more details, a schedule of current courses and bookings visit their website or by ring them on 8850 3030.
Sustainable Gardening Australia offers specialist gardening master classes. They are a not-for-profit organisation focussed on enabling local healthy food production and community connectedness. Master classes that have been offered include:
Water smart gardening,
Low environmental impact solutions to garden pests,
Sustainable home grown garlic,
Sustainable building materials and garden structures,
Australian orchids, and
Fruit tree pruning.
Experiencr the joy of creating your own beautiful flower garden.
They also offer fact sheets and advice and run three hour forums. At the time of writing 2016 forum topics were yet to be announced. Topics covered in 2015 forums were:
Nature's Pest Management Tool Kit: Win/Win For Gardener and Environment,
How Gardeners can be Champions for Wildlife,
Living Soils, and
Gardening in a Drying Landscape
Sustainable Gardening Australia master classes are held at a variety of venues. Past and current venues include Forest Hill, Manningham, and Blackburn. Prices for master classes appear to range around $25 to $35. Find more details, a schedule of current courses and bookings visit their website or by ring them on 8850 3050.
CERES, the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is a community environment park that has a focus on sustainability education. The Centre offers courses on a number of sustainability topics including gardening. Typical of the gardening courses offered are:
Organic vegetable gardening,
Introduction to backyard aquaponics,
Introduction to permaculture,
Compliment your garden with some busy bees and have your own fresh honey.
The Centre also has working demonstrations of renewable energy technologies, indigenous flora and organic garden plantings, a bushfood nursery, the largest display of household composting systems in the Southern Hemisphere and more.
CERES Community Environment Park is at the Corner of Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East. Courses typically cost between $80 and $200. Click here for more details of currently scheduled courses or to make a booking. Park Gates are open 9.00am to 5.00 pm daily. The Visitor Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday: 8.30am to 3:00pm and Sunday and Monday: 8:30am to 1:30pm. Entry to the park is free. There is an onsite café. Some displays have different opening times, check the website for details or ring 9389 0100.
The Diggers Club at Heronswood holds monthly workshops which run from 1 to 1.5 hours for a standard workshop and 2.5 hours for an advanced workshop. Topics covered include:
Composting and improving soil,
Seed saving and winter seed sowing,
All about worm farms,
Preserving summer produce,
All about citrus, and
Fruit tree pruning.
Fruit trees, coupled with preserving will provide helathy food the year round.
Heronswood is at 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana. The gardens, nursery and shop are open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm (Closed 24-26 December and Good Friday). General entry is $10. Heronswood can be contacted on 5984 7321. Costs for standard workshops are $29 for members and $39 for non-members. Advanced workshop prices vary. Visit the Diggers Club website for more details or to make a booking.
Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges
The Diggers Club at Cloudehill holds monthly workshops which run from 1 to 1.5 hours for a standard workshop and 2.5 hours for an advanced workshop. Topics covered include:
Cloudehill is at 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda. The gardens, nursery and shop are open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm (Closed 24-26 December and Good Friday). Genreal entry is $10. Cloudehill be contacted on 9751 0584. Costs for standard workshops are $29 for members and $39 for non-members. Advanced workshop prices vary. Visit the Diggers Club website for more details or to make a booking.
The Little Veggie Patch is dedicated to helping people grow food. They hold a number of practical workshops throughout the year including:
Scarecrow making, and
Preserving – green tomato pickle and red cherry chutney.
Making your scarecrow could be a fun family project.
They also market heirloom seeds, produce a gardening books and a magazine and run a nursery.
The Little Veggie Patch is at 2A Brighton Road, St Kilda East and has a Popup Patch at Rooftop of Car Park, Russell Court, (continue on from Russell Street), Federation Square, Melbourne. Courses are held at the Popup Patch and typically cost between $20 and $70. For more details or to make a booking visit their website or ring them on 9531 5594.