Public parks are a pleasure to ponder, wander and relax in. However they are public spaces and not exclusive to the group you are with. Private gardens offer an exclusivity, an opportunity to observe an individual interpretation of a private space. For visitors focused on gardens check out private gardens Open Gardens Victoria: Home for inspiration where to go next weekend.
Garden exhibitions and shows
Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show – Immerse Your Senses is an international premier event. A number of private gardens open around the time of the Melbourne Flower Show. It’s a great spring holiday with the gardening brigade out in full force. Forget dressing up, its all about weather worn hands and the ability to understand the plant’s latin name that counts as street credibility. Guided tours often obtain exclusive access to the coveted gardens offering glimpses into gardens throughout Victoria. Forward bookings are essential due to the popularity of the Melbourne Flower Show and its flow on effect on visitor numbers around showtimes.
Plant cottage gardens open one Sunday in the month, check the following for where you should be on Sunday. Plant Craft Cottage Open Sundays, Event, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is situated within the Royal Botanic Gardens, it is a must do activity for Melbourne inhabitants with an interest in all things plant.
A few favourites are:
- Flagstaff Gardens are a city oasis for office workers, visitors and people who simply need a green space to stretch out in. Go for a walk, during your lunch hour and find this quiet spot for a breath of fresh air.
- Fitzroy Gardens Melbourne
- Cooks Cottage which is open to visitors as well as extensive gardens, large open spaces with planting designed to expand the viewing horizons “Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most historic and beautiful Gardens. Originally set aside as a reserve in 1848, the layout follows a classic Victorian–era design, featuring pathways lined with magnificent Elm trees, and a variety of flowers, ornamental shrubs and trees which together with extensive lawns create a diverse and layered landscape” City of Melbourne, Parks Service brochure.
Victoria — GARDENS WITHIN AN HOUR OR TWO FROM MELBOURNE
Victoria, with its temperate climate has a love affair with all things garden. Since the 19th century European settlement gardens have flourished. Visitors focused on garden tours, from New Zealand as well as the drier parts of Australia or further afield have choices from English style formal gardens to gardens embracing all things Australian. Victoria’s former vehicle number plates had the description ‘The Garden State’ and this still applies. Melbourne has “The City of Melbourne has nearly 480 hectares of internationally acclaimed parks and gardens, offering a variety of open spaces, recreation opportunities and facilities for the community.” City of Melbourne, parks service brochure.
There are a number of gardens that have not yet been visited, if you have a special place for chilling out, exercising, walking the dog or kicking the ball with the children please email comments.
And there are more gardens to enjoy in the State of Victoria. In the Melbourne vicinity – an hour’s drive…
- Rippon Lea and Gardens is a National Heritage listed property is a suburb in itself with an elaborate Victorian icing cake of a house set in 14 acres of nineteenth century style garden. A great garden for families as there is plenty of room for energy to be spent kicking, jumping and skipping through the formal gardens. The children’s programme looking for Gruffalo is very popular. And then there is the house which is open to the public. Do not forget the gift shop with its Victorian replica ware. For the sentimental and nogistic a place to search for the perfect gift. The gatehouse cafe is well known for its high teas. Bookings are recommended. Remember to check for opening hours. Address 192 Hotham St, Elsternwick, Victoria. Mornington Peninsula heritage and history day trip could be expanded into a weekend where the Heronswood Estate, Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens can be visited.
- Heronswood Estate is a seasonal garden with the highlight being spring and early summer. It is not always open to the public hence the need to check the website for opening details. While there are toilet facilities there are no eating facilities. A garden for lovers of the herbaceous border style of gardening. Your imagination will run riot with the deep rich displays where your garden plant thoughts think about all the new plantings that will work in your backyard.
Romance in a garden
Ashcombe Maze is a commercial garden where the main attraction is a maze. The maze is over 1000 cypress trees which are pruned three times a year to achieve the sculptured perfection of a great maze. Then there is a circular rose maze which is a spring, early summer treat. There is a lavender garden for those who adore the scent, sight and look of swaths of lavender. The gardens offer children the opportunity to seek and hide with great gnome hunt. The gardens have a licensed restaurant and the setting is a favourite for romantic couples. The gift shop is extensive. Private gardens such as Ashcombe definitely need local visitors and visitor dollars.
Located 15 Shoreham Road Shoreham 3916
Note: Because of a road name change a few years ago, some GPS units sometimes do NOT recognise Shoreham Rd. If this happens, try keying in Red Hill-Shoreham Rd
Public Transport: Unfortunately there is no direct public transport to Ashcombe Maze. From Melbourne CBD, you will need to take the train to Frankston Station and catch a Route 782 bus with Peninsula Buslines. Make sure you catch a bus that goes all the way to Flinders and does not terminate at Balnarring. Get off at Shoreham Rd and walk 1 km walk to Ashcombe Maze.
Remember to check the website for opening hours.
Wildflowers and walks
Wildflowers, Nature and wildlife, Victoria, Australia, seasonal, check website before booking. Fabulous ephemeral beauty that is vivid and bright and only lasts a few weeks. Inspiration and wildflowers while you walk in spring weather. Remember weather can be changeable, always carry layers and the faithful water bottle.
Parks and gardens when and what is open, shows and events
Parks and gardens, Nature and wildlife, Victoria, Australia, check what is open and what is closed. Avoid disappointment check before you depart.
TIP : check the actual number of gardens visited. Lots of leisurely lunches in gardens can absorb time spent wandering around all things in the garden.
TIP : check the website on private gardens open to the public as well as the Melbourne Flower Show while building your itinerary.
Garden lovers rejoice, you can always return next year to view the changes that the seasons have wrought in the gardens of Melbourne.
Beauty is definitively in the backyard of Melbourne.
The journey is worth it