The gardeners themselves will take you around their gardens and share their stories, but our tour guides knowledge will ensure that you get the most out of your day.
The landscaping at Allandayle was designed by owner Ray Condon and has been done in various stages in an Arts and Craft style.
With son Aaron building many of the dry stone walls that are such a feature of the garden, it is very much a plant collectors garden with many rare Alpine, woodland bulbs and shrubs. It also features 2 glass houses where Viv and Ray raise seeds from overseas.
Shirley, like most gardeners, loves to share her garden with other people. Experience the extraordinary beauty of Australian native plants at Shirley Carn's Australian Native Garden, a flowering masterpiece as seen on Gardening Australia in May 2010.
Enjoy the dainty and colourful nature of Shirley's favourite plant, Epacris Impressa as well as Pimelia physodes, Silver Princess eucalypt, Scarlet Blaze wattle, and the blue Hovea Elliptica collection plus masses of daisy-like flower Brachycomes, Dampierieas, Leschenaultia and Darwineas and Qualup Bell. Shirley will also be hosting our Australian Garden Tour on 30th September.
Sculptures, water features and quirky statues are designed to make visitors smile as they wander or sit among the collections of Daphnes, Southern and Northern Hemisphere Beeches, Cornus, Wollemi Pines, and other treasures. Vireya Rhododendrons are a special feature and hundreds of species and hybrids can be viewed growing in the garden and shade houses.
Formal parterres, hedges, walled garden and informal native gardens appeal to everyone who enjoys a tranquil retreat. A serpentine rill connects to a reflective pond set in sweeping lawns. View the garden with Simon and Marcia as your guides before enjoying lunch here.
This is essentially a young garden on a 2/3 acre block. The site is narrow, long and awkward. Much re-arranging of rocks, some very large, and work with a bob-cat and chainsaw enabled the bones of a garden to be established by the summer of 2008/9 with defined garden areas and walking paths.
We work as far as possible with the climate, planting shrubs and trees we know to succeed in this environment; generally wet and cold-including some snow and with an acid soil. Only a few old trees and shrubs remained from earlier times still in good health. The garden is unusually sunny for Olinda, most of the spaces receiving some sun for much of the day enabling a fairly wide selection of plant material including roses, liliums, iris, peony and mollis azaleas. Trees such as magnolias, cornus, enkianthus, parrotia, styrax and maples also thrive. All water for this garden and house is provided from tanks. We have never used mains water.
Cloudehill Gardens and Nursery needs little introduction - however this is a chance to explore the garden at the height of spring with Jeremy Francis himself as your guide.
Cloudehill: A Year in the Garden was launched in October of 2010 mentioning some of the history and ideas behind this well-known garden. However, during these tours, all are welcome to come along to tease out the details of the joys and irritations of serious gardening with Cloudehill gardens in full Spring glory.
I have been interested in plants, in particular alpine plants and dwarf bulbs since early childhood - in fact my earliest memory at the age of 3 is of Anemone coronaria in blue and red flowering in the wild. I have been collecting and growing plants ever since, and specially since moving to a vacant hillside block in Olinda in 1975 which was then overgrown by blackberries and other weeds.
A steep site, part of it I built into a rock garden over several years, using local and imported rock, to provide a suitable environment for my plants, originating from all 5 continents.
My large collection of hardy dwarf bulbs originates mostly from the Mediterranean region, Asia Minor, Central Asia and Nth. America, raised from seed received from various Botanic Gardens overseas, private gardens, plant collectors and some imported as live bulbs and plants.
At Gentiana we have planted our garden largely with deciduous trees, shrubs and ground covers. In winter the deciduous trees reveal their true beauty from the powerful root bases right up to the fine tracery of twigs in the crown. In spring we are rewarded with a profusion of renewal as the garden bursts to life.
You will be greeted with drifts of pale blue anemone nemorosa and dicentra formosa punctuated with clumps of deep blue pulmonaria and soft pink trillium. Bulbs will be surfacing all over the garden, the more subtle species such as cyclamen coum, galanthus and fritilaria. We also grow a large number of epimedium species and hybrids these are scattered throughout the garden sheltered beneath the trees and shrubs.
The deciduous shrubs follow the woodland plants and these will include pure white viburnum, cream dogwoods, white and pink magnolia and the stronger colours from deciduous azalea. The leaf budding on the deciduous trees is in our mind as good as any flowering we are graced with four mature copper beech, one big old tri-colour and a couple of green beech.
Magnificent deciduous trees are a feature of this 1.5 acre, rambling hills garden surrounding the beautiful English-style house. Paths encourage exploration of shady woodland areas which open onto mixed borders planted for year-round interest. A hot border; stone-walled sunken garden and a rock-edged pond make for an interesting and old hills garden.
Hillangully Homestead was established in 1969 when the Hayes family sold 25 acres of Hillangully Farm to Olinda Nurseries, the remaining 5 acres becoming their family home. The Hayes family left the site in 1998 and it remained derelict until 2006, when Geoff, wife Jane and their two young daughters bought the property.
Eight years of neglect had resulted in the inevitable forest of weeds consuming the garden, mountains of blackberries, hundreds of sapling trees and thick carpets of ivy. Weeds were cleared, paths and steps discovered and uncovered, weed trees felled and burned, and the old garden revealed itself in all its glory. Large stands of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and weeping cherries produced a magnificent display in springtime.
Geoff has spent the last few years creating new beds for summer colour, new garden features such as a pond, a gazebo and sculptures.
Karwarra Australian Plant Garden, set on two hectares at picturesque Kalorama, is devoted to displaying the diversity and beauty of Australian plants in a landscaped setting. At any time of the year there is plenty to see and enjoy, with many plants flowering in each season.
Talented designer Kath Deery guided Karwarra's early design and the garden includes a rockery by Ellis Stones. Karwarra has been undergoing exciting renovations over the past three years, with garden beds rejuvenated, a new entrance and signage and access paths for visitors with prams, wheelchairs and walkers.
Karwarra Garden is responsible for the GPCAA Telopea (Waratah) and also the Boronia collection and also displays many plants suitable for shady dry gardens. There is also has a small retail plant nursery with plants available for sale in small tubes and 14cm pots.
In 1921, artist, Sir Arthur Streeton purchased 5 acres at Olinda. By 1923 he completed his garden studio and influenced by the arts and crafts movement in 1924 he commissioned the existing two storey weatherboard house. Commencing an extensive program of tree planting consisting of European and North American conifers; birch; oaks; tulip; and linden including the rarer broad leaf linden Americana, intermingled with existing blackwoods and mountain ash, with his gardner they developed significant plantings of conifer hedges and perennial borders along the driveways. Streeton died at Longacres in 1943.
In 1996, Roger Streeton, grandson of the artist, and his wife Julie, purchased the property from the Streeton family, which after many years of neglect, was overrun with blackberries, and self sown holly and sycamore. The buildings suffered from substantial deterioration due the climate. The resoration has included new plantings of 'exotic' trees together with much of the original rock garden below the garden studio, and many perennial borders. There has also been extensive plantings of naturalised cyclamen under the mature trees and along the driveways.
In 1937, F.G. Coles, a foundation member of the Australian Rhododendron Society, purchased a hillside covered with bracken and blackberries known as Mernda Heights. Four generations later the family still care for the six acres that boasts glimpses of Western Port Bay.
Today, this extensive garden has an important collection of older varieties and species of rhododendrons, a mollis azalea garden, a large Mt Fuji cherry tree of ancient contorted habit, mature maples, an excellent collection of magnolias and daffodils and a fire bunker, cleverly disguised with exquisite rock walling by Aaron Condon. Norma Berry, Mr Coles daughter, will show you around the classic 'hill station' garden.
Nestled on the top of Moulton Hill in Sassafras, Moulton Park Estate, circa 1910 is one of the original farms of the area.
First time opened to the public in recent times, journey through the front gate framed by formal hedging past the original Gatehouse to the historic homestead.
Boasting almost 3 acres of established gardens featuring many mature exotic trees, which shade beds of rhododendrons, hydrangeas and azaleas. Experience cyclamens, hellebores, bulbs and other woodland treasures amongst the sweeping lawns.
Award winning Phillip Johnson is undeniably one of Australia's most passionate and recognised Sustainable Landscape gardeners. Most recently Phillip has won the Sustainability Award, a Gold Medal in the Show Garden category and Silver Medal in the Outdoor Exhibit category at the 2012 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.
His own back yard is a contemporary rock garden on a grand scale, complete with waterfalls and billabongs made in a forest clearing amongst mountain ash and tree ferns. It happens to be rather 'high tech' and very cutting edge and a brilliant demonstration of Phillip's philosophy of the importance of sustainability in garden design.
In the early 1930's, the property had no plants and trees of any kind. Gradually Fred & Hilda, planted special trees such as the Tulip tree, Walnut, Chestnut tree (fell in 2001), a massive Lilly Pilly, Oak trees, & various Maples. The surviving trees have grown into beautiful large established trees, giving shade in the summer and mulch in the winter. There are also Rhododendrons & Camellias which have created the bones of the garden.
In 1998, Bill & Maria purchased the one acre property & saved it from ruin. The garden being totally overgrown with various weeds and blackberries, now boasts a large fernery, and flower gardens. There are various plantings, such as bulbs of varying kinds, Roses, Azaleas, hellebores, Hydrangeas, and a delightful fairy garden for the grandchildren to enjoy. A major feature of the property, are the bluestone walls, & steps created by Bill plus the leadlight windows overlooking the garden which enhances the home.
In 1989, everything in the garden was very basic. There was a small stand of trees, including a wonderful liriodendron, near the front gate and a few perfunctory garden beds, but no sense of the relationship between house and garden, or one part of the garden and another.
It wasn't until 1997 that I began to take an interest in the garden, I read a lot, tried a few things, made a few bold decisions, it was very much 'trial and error' and some of my efforts didn't really work. I finally decided that what I wanted was a semi-formal front garden taking advantage of the mature plants. In the rear garden I concentrated on planting a profusion of my favourite cottage plants, foxgloves, lupins, campanulas, poppies, daisies and delphiniums and a herb garden.
I have taken advantage of the old shed walls planting some Maypole apple trees along the front wall and an espaliered plum on the side of the shed wall. The circular terraces of the front the cottage garden at the rear reflect the chi energy forces which are part of my career as a fitness instructor and explain why I was drawn to create them.
Don was a renowned Plantsman/Horticulturalist, and his inspiration has helped Val continue her love of gardening at 'The Nook', and to share the joy with others.
The Secret Garden evokes a tranquil and peaceful ambience. Mature walnut trees enclose a cottage garden full of treasures, it emulates in many ways the English Cottage gardens of Edwardian times. Foxgloves, delphiniums, roses, clematis, salvias, azaleas, rhododendrons, all grow harmoniously in this sunny garden which was featured on Gardening Australia with Stephen Ryan in 2010 and was open in the Australian Open Garden scheme early 2012.
Along the way you'll be getting a special inside tour of some of the areas best nurseries and most iconic places in the Dandenongs.