The Best Gardens in the Dandenongs
The Dandenongs are known as the Garden City of Victoria and are home to some of the best gardens in Australia. Some of the more popular gardens include the Karwarra Gardens, Cloudehill Gardens and the William Ricketts Sanctuary. These gardens feature extensive paths and offer visitors the chance to explore nature at its best.
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
Located in the Dandenong Ranges near Sherbrooke, the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens are a great destination for a nature-loving family. This 105-hectare garden includes an ornamental lake and several linked pathways. It’s a perfect location for a relaxing stroll, picnic, or just plain exploring.
The garden boasts several impressive water features including a boathouse and a small lake. In addition to the picturesque lake, there are many shady paths leading to the surrounding area. Several of the walking trails also wind through a wooded garden park. There’s plenty to see and do here, and the garden is open throughout the year.
Besides the obvious lake and boathouse, the garden is home to some of the more unusual plants, including a few flowering exotic shrubs and trees, and a collection of native terrestrial orchids. These are a nice diversion from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Aside from the lake and the boathouse, the gardens also feature some interesting sculptures. Most notably, there are 92 clay sculptures in the Williams Ricketts Sanctuary. They form flowing pathways and are a testament to the artist’s love of nature.
Other notable aspects of the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden include the pavillion, a pavilion, and a boathouse. You can easily access the garden via a management vehicle track. If you’re lucky enough, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the local fauna.
Although the garden is a great place to visit all year round, the autumn colours are definitely the best. Many of the flowers and trees change their colour with the season, and you can see them in all their glory at this time of year.
Cloudehill Gardens & Nursery is a beautiful garden located in the Dandenong Ranges. This 5-acre garden is a unique escape for anyone who loves nature. The gardens are filled with iconic flowers and plants from the region.
The gardens are open all year round, so there’s always something to see. You can visit on your own, or book a guided tour.
The garden features a large number of plant rooms. A 100-metre archway covered with wisteria is a stunning feature in the garden. It also leads to a sunken garden.
The garden includes parterres, topiary displays and a green theatre. There are also peony gardens, herbaceous borders and more. And in the spring, you can explore the bulb meadow.
The garden is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission is $10. Visitors can also take group tours, or attend a Twilight Concert in the summer.
If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, check out the Seasons Restaurant. This is a great place to dine, and is suitable for large weddings and social events. You can choose to have lunch or dinner, or sit on the terrace. You can enjoy views of the gardens while you dine.
The garden nursery at Cloudehill features cool climate trees and flowering shrubs. They also stock heirloom seeds.
Jeremy Francis designed the garden. He was a sheep farmer from Western Australia. He was a passionate plant enthusiast who imported rare plants. When he died in 1992, his son Jeremy took over.
Many of the garden’s features are inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. One of the most impressive features is a ‘green theatre’. It is an all-seasons source of inspiration for gardeners, as well as those interested in art.
Pirianda Gardens is one of the most beautiful parks in Victoria. It is a large woodland garden containing a unique collection of plants. The park is located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
The gardens feature a variety of trees and ferns, including Blackwoods, Mountain Ash and Soft and Rough Tree Ferns. There are also several native fern gullies, bog gardens, and a terraced garden. This makes it a great place for photography.
Pirianda is open from 10 am to 5 pm, daily. Visitors can also hire the park for private functions. If you wish to spend some time here, dress appropriately. Also be aware that some sections of the garden are quite steep.
The garden features a diverse mix of trees and ferns, including a Chinese Handkerchief Tree. These plants have white bracts that are up to 12 cm long. They flower in early November.
The garden has also been cultivated with rare and exotic plants. Some of the more interesting species include R. kyawii, a fascinating species from Burma.
Other flowers in the garden include the Stewartia spp. These plants are related to camellias and have a very delicate flower. You can also find Franklinia spp. Their flowers are on leafless branches.
The garden also features a number of species of rhododendrons. Rhododendron chamaethomsonii is a dwarf rhododendron that produces trusses of bright crimson flowers.
In the garden, you can also find many different types of birch, maples and magnolias. There are 28 different types of maples in the garden, as well as several other varieties of birch.
The garden offers endless hiking trails. However, it is important to watch out for bushfires.
The Dandenong Ranges are home to a number of fantastic gardens. If you’re looking for a little outdoor adventure, then the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is a must. It’s a year-round delight with an enviable collection of exotic and native trees, shrubs, and conifers.
You can take a stroll through the botanical gardens or get lost in the rainforest. There’s something to please everyone in your group.
The garden’s plant nursery is also worth a visit. With more than 1400 varieties of Australian native plants, the nursery is an ideal destination for the gardening enthusiast.
The Conservatory is home to five seasonal floral displays. This includes the National Rhododendron Garden. The garden’s other attractions include an ornamental lake, waterfall, boat house, flowering gullies, and scenic walking tracks.
While you’re at Karwarra, don’t miss the 92 ceramic sculptures gracing the grounds. There’s a bus service that runs from Kalorama.
Karwarra is also a great place to get a few ideas for your own native garden. Not only is it free to visit, but there are also friendly staff and volunteers who are happy to give you a few pointers.
As one of the most impressive gardens in the Dandenongs, the Karwarra Australian Plant Garden and Nursery is an enlightening experience. It’s also one of the few botanical gardens in Victoria that is exclusively dedicated to native plants.
The Karwarra Australian Plant Garden and Nursery is a hidden gem that you won’t find on your usual sightseeing tour. You should also try to get a glimpse of its ‘edible’ garden.
Located on Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Karwarra Gardens are a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. They’re also an ideal spot for a wedding. Weddings are permitted on site, but you’ll need to obtain a pre-approved permit.
William Ricketts Sanctuary
The William Ricketts Sanctuary in the Dandenongs is a beautiful place to visit. It is situated in the forest clad hills of Mount Dandenong, and features a range of sculptures highlighting Aboriginal culture. This sanctuary is managed by Parks Victoria, and offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can appreciate the beauty of nature.
William Rickets was a talented sculptor and naturalist. His life and work were influenced by his time living with Central Australian Aborigines. In addition to his sculptures, Ricketts also created jewelry and violins. During his lifetime, he traveled to the desert interior of Central Australia to work with the Pitjantjatjara and Arrente indigenous people.
In the 1930s, Ricketts bought a four-acre bush block on Mount Dandenong. He named the property Potter’s Sanctuary, and used the site for his sculptures.
Ricketts’ artworks often feature animals around human figures. They emphasize the unity of all mankind and the importance of early childhood. While the majority of his works are large, he also sculpted smaller works for private collections.
Ricketts’ artwork is highly popular with children. His art is well suited for families who wish to experience a cultural heritage. As a result, many of his original pieces are sought after by collectors.
Located in Mt Dandenong, the William Ricketts Sanctuary is accessible for free. You can walk around the sanctuary, and view the many ceramic and clay sculptures. Visitors can also take an audio tour. Part 3 of the tour includes an audio-visual display, and the Earthly Mother.
You may also enjoy the brunch cafe, which is located just a short walk away. Guests can purchase a range of snacks and drinks from the café.