I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published March 5th 2018
Spectacular Autumn Gardens
It's only early days but autumn has certainly arrived in the Macedon Ranges and the area is preparing for the amazing explosion of colour that signifies the end of summer and the approach of cooler days.
Along Macedon's Honour Avenue the 154 Pin Oaks, representing 154 young men and women from the district who served in World War 1, are changing from green to orange and red.
It's only early days but Honour Avenues memorial Pin Oaks are slowly changing from striking green .....
.... to the magnificent yellows, reds and orange of autumn. Photos: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
It's a transition gradually spreading throughout the district, particularly among the grand old gardens higher up 'the Mount', and one which will see the whole area bathed in dazzling autumn colours by late March, early April.
Word certainly has spread that this is a fabulous time of year to head to Mount Macedon and visit some of Australia's finest garden estates. In recent years thousands of international visitors have made the annual pilgrimage to photograph themselves wandering the streets and gardens bathed in autumn leaves.
In fact it's become so popular that parking restrictions have been put in place along Honour Avenue and on the Mount Macedon Road adjacent to some of the larger gardens, but not to the extent that they're a problem or impede access.
Visitors to Mount Macedon's gardens will be amazed by the plantings and spectular colours like these at Forest Glade. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Standouts among the gardens on the mount are Forest Glade open 10 AM to 4.30 PM every day and Tieve Tara open weekdays 10 AM to 4 PM and weekends & public holidays 10.30 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee to both gardens is $10 per adult.
Reborn from the devastating Ash Wednesday fires of February 1983 Forest Glade is today one of Mount Macedon's, indeed Australia's, great gardens.
Covering 5.6 hectares it's home to exotic trees, a Japanese garden and bonsai house, beautiful woodlands, fern gullies, a topiary garden, a must-see laburnum arch, pergolas & ponds and some amazing statues and fountains.
Anytime is a great time to visit Forest Glade but the garden gives up particularly amazing displays of colour in both spring and autumn. Masses of rhododendrons, peonies and azaleas are highlights of spring while autumn explodes in yellows, oranges and reds as the deciduous trees and bushes prepare to shed their leaves for winter.
Even the hot summers and very cold winters reward visitors to this, one of Australia's great gardens.
Forest Glade 816 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon Tel: (03) 5426 1323
Autumn on Mount Macedon explodes in yellows, oranges and reds as the deciduous trees and shrubs prepare to shed their leaves for winter. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
This property dates back to 1854 when it was owned by Mr W. Christian and known as Christians Orchard.
It's changed hands several time over the years, purchased by present owners John and Judith Brand in October 1995. The original house was destroyed by fire in 1962 and its replacement was again burnt out and most of the gardens severely damaged in the Ash Wednesday fires.
The original garden was laid out in the early 1860's and amazingly, despite the ravages of fire, many of the original old trees remain today.
The Brands have worked hard to build on earlier improvements to the property to create the beautiful garden we see today.
It features picturesque top and bottom lakes, rolling lawns, a rose walk & arbour, many beautiful garden beds and a children's playground dubbed 'Treasure Island'.
Tieve Tara 751 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon
Tel: 0418 337 813
Visit the website here.
While you're in the area take the opportunity to visit the Mount Macedon Memorial Cross for some spectacular views to Melbourne & beyond. And don't forget the pubs, restaurants, cafes & wineries for which the Macedon Rangees are famous. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank