Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Don't miss them in full bloom
Entry to the 'Peony Paddock' is through these 200 year-old gates from Turkey
Never heard of the Red Hill Peony Estate? Well, me neither until yesterday when it appeared on my 'things to do list' via Facebook. Naturally, I couldn't resist the temptation of exploring a garden 'in my own backyard'... and I'm sure once you see what's behind the front gates, you'll be drawn in too!
Here you'll likely to be greeted by Jill Holmes-Smith as if you were an old friend. Jill is the inspiration behind the Peony Estate, owner, and also very talented artist who produces stunning original oil paintings (as seen in the background).
Jill Holmes-Smith pictured on the right with her art in the background
We had a quick chat to Jill about the history of this property and how Peony Estate was established. "The peonies have been growing for three seasons now and are ready to bloom; although unfortunately, the cold weather has delayed the blooms, but the opening must go ahead." "I think the weekend of the 25th-26th of November will see the peony blooms at their best, but the rest of the garden is absolutely stunning at the moment!"
After purchasing tickets (adults are $12, children are free) we strolled down the 800m ornamental tree lined drive to the 'Peony Padock' through the 200-year-old gates from Turkey. As Jill said... the peonies weren't in full bloom yet, but we got a glimpse of what was to come.
Although the gardens are outstanding and well worth a visit, I can't wait to see just how good they'll be in time. I have a feeling they will keep growing and developing to become the Mornington Peninsula's equivalent of the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.
Lorraine your description matches mine, it was delightful to enjoy nature, without being pressed to eat or drink.. but merely walk talk and admire the delightful setting. Old young or in love, this is a beautiful way to spend a day.