how to change the world

I found a gorgeous little book today that I’m going to try and get into our stores. It’s by a man named John-Paul Flintoff and it’s titled “How to change the world”. I haven’t read it yet but all the reviews are fantastic and I did find a little video to watch if you’re interested, I’ve posted it here.

In the video John-Paul talks about how meaningful and satisfying it is to have a life task, something that you really care passionately about and are engaged in. He speaks of his own passion about getting people to grow their own food [spurred on by his fear of the world’s declining food production etc] and one quote which really resonated with me was.

“The key is not to make despair convincing, it’s to make hope possible”. I’m going to try and get them into stores, I’ll let you know when we get hold of a few copies.


liav workshop night success

As some of you may already know Eco Outdoor Nunawading hosted an LIAV workshop night last week and it was a huge success! We had an opening introduction by Bruce Winstanley from the LIAV followed by mini workshop groups presented by Aqua Vision, Mapei, Smith & Gordon Nurseries and Light on Landscapes. With a turnout of  over 80 landscapers it was a great, informative night and we’d like to say a big thank you to all who came. If you missed the night, or would just like a little more info download the attached document here (LIAV workshop information), it includes a few photographs of the event as well as a quick re-cap of the key points from each workshop.

LIAV Eco Outdoor Workshop night

green roofs are so last year…

For those of you are are totally into the foodie game, check out Melbourne City Rooftop Honey which has sprung up all over Melbourne town. You’ve heard of green roofs, well this is just as important and definitely more delicious. Vanessa Kwiatkowski and Mat Lumalasi launched Melbourne City Rooftop Honey after learning that beekeepers in cities such as London, New York and Paris were reintroducing bees to urban areas. Since then, they’ve installed hives on the rooftops of more than 15 CBD and inner-city businesses, mainly cafes and restaurants, and half a dozen suburban gardens. More than 100 people have joined their waiting list.

Nikolsky’s grandfather was a commercial beekeeper and he has strong memories of people coming to his grandparents’ door to buy honey. When Nikolsky read a small newspaper article about Melbourne City Rooftop Honey last year, he offered to host a hive.

For a $250 annual fee, Kwiatkowski and Lumalasi visit fortnightly to check on the hives. In return, the Alphington couple gets a share of the honey and, thanks to the busy bees, a measurable improvement in garden productivity.

“It’s good for us because we like to grow our own vegies and try to be as sustainable as we can,” says Nikolsky. “We’re not talking food miles here. We’re talking food metres.”

You can read more here at Milk Bar or here at Melbourne Rooftop Honey.

guest blogger peter fudge – things that inspire me

About a year ago we packed up the family and moved into a new place. We said goodbye to our small but perfectly formed garden and said hello instead to a larger project altogether. I’d like to use the term makeover to describe the project but I’m not sure it’s strong enough! We inherited a kidney shaped pool with terracotta coping that showcased, much to my kids delight, a faux rock water feature in one corner. Thankfully a beautiful, fruitful mango tree overhangs it!

Long term I can make the garden work with the existing pool, we’ll look at getting some new coping and the enhancement of a new garden. But my very first step was to convert the salt water pool to a magnesium pool. Magnesium can be added to any existing salt or chlorine pool and the end result is great. Magnesium salts are gentle and therapeutic for the skin, no more itchy, stinging eyes or smelly chlorine skin. There is zero chlorine odor and in a properly balanced pool the water even tastes like mineral water. The best part though, is that with an environmentally friendly pool solution you can use the backwash water to irrigate your plants and garden. Even our dog prefers to drink from our pool now!

Magna Pool is the registered product for sale throughout Australia and as I mentioned before any existing pool can be converted. I’m really happy to see there is something environmentally friendly and innovative out in the market.

Our dog!Mango TreePeter Fudge Peter Fudge

eco outdoor at alowyn gardens

Last weekend the Melbourne team was lucky enough to get a guided tour of the spectacular Alowyn Gardens, created by John Vandelinde of Jay Vee Landscaping. John, who created the gardens with his wife Prue, walked us through each section of the garden and gave us an insight into the motivation behind and beauty of each different style.

In 1998 when John first started work on the gardens, there were only 3 trees to be found on the property. One of these trees, the Weeping Elm, is now the centre piece of the entire garden. It’s clear from strolling through the gardens that John takes a lot of inspiration from nature itself as well as the traditional style of gardens found at the “Palais Het Loo” in Holland.

Sprawling over 4 acres, you could easily lose yourself amongst any of the 7 amazing gardens. I know myself and a few others here at Eco will be sure to visit again to see how things have grown and changed and to be inspired all over again.

So the next time you have a day trip or wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, why not drop in and say hello to John and Prue and enjoy an afternoon of inspiration at Alowyn Gardens. While you’re there you can also grab a coffee and a bite to eat at their café. Check out the website for opening hours.

P.S. If you’re wondering where the name “Alowyn” comes from (as we were) it’s a combination of John and Prue’s surnames, Aloyisius and Olwyn.

Eco Outdoor at Alowyn GardensEco Outdoor at Alowyn GardensEco Outdoor at Alowyn GardensEco Outdoor at Alowyn Gardens

Eco Outdoor at Alowyn GardensEco Outdoor at Alowyn Gardens

looking for free landscape or pool design advice?

Gardens by Design

free landscape design advice in-store at nunawading on sat 26th nov

As spring morphs into summer we start to use our outdoor spaces more and more. Now’s the time to get cracking and make the most out of our courtyards or backyards or whatever space you have to enjoy outside.

On Saturday the 26th November we’re hosting a double whopper down at our Nunawading store in Victoria.

We’ll be doing a Weber BBQ demonstration of some delicious home cooked man food and we’ll also be hosting one of our favourite garden designers in-store.

David Bennett

David Bennett of Gardens by Design will be in-store from 10am to 12pm to answer all your landscape design questions. Dave has won many awards in the residential landscape design sector over the years and is renowned among his colleagues for his quality and cost effective design solutions. Whether you’re looking to redesign an outdoor space, put in a pool, maybe you want to include a water feature or you just want to know where to plant the petunias, Dave can help. He has generously offered to be in-store between 10am and 12pm to offer free landscape design and garden advice.

So if you’ve been thinking its about time you redesigned your outdoor space,  swing by our Nunawading store on Sat 24th Nov, join the BBQ and talk to Dave. Get yourself a belly full of man food courtesy of our friends at Weber and a head full of outdoor design ideas from the man himself. A delightful day out by anyone’s measure.

calling all SA design hunters

South Australians are gearing up for their very first Saturday at Design happening tomorrow Saturday 5th November. For those of you familiar with local design events, this one is being hosted by the Design Institute of Australia [ SA chapter] and is bound to be a cracker.

Called ‘Designers’ Saturday’ it will run from 10am – 5pm and  will showcase the latest in designer pieces in one day open to design professionals and all members of the public. Design hunters will check in at a central location at the beautiful Queen’s Theatre (cnr of Playhouse Lane & Gilles Arcade) equipped to collect their itinerary, enjoy a coffee, food, recharge and then move about the city to explore the showrooms. Adelaide’s leading suppliers will show off the latest in chairs, tables, storage solutions and accessories for the home, office, and cafe.

Join in the design conversation at Eco Outdoor’s Moët & Chandon Bar on Designers’ Saturday 5th Nov, from 1pm to 4pm and get a sneak preview of some of its latest designs.

Our team will be instore all day presenting the latest furniture ranges, together with the latest prototype drawings for next season.We’ll showcase new pieces and talk to designers about where we think outdoor furniture is headed. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the design process from concept to creation.

Here at Eco we believe that design should be a two way conversation between the product and the space it occupies. We also believe in Moët & Chandon.

So drop in and visit us at Eco Outdoor Adelaide this Saturday, join us at the Moët & Chandon Bar and join in the design conversation.

Plus we’ll be showing off this season’s newest outdoor furniture range with a stunning raw industrial finish that’s totally old school and you’ll see it here first.

See us at
13 College Road Kent Town
1300 13 14 13