A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published October 21st 2018
Stunning blooms at both these places
I am unable to resists looking at beautiful flowers and starting in October, both roses and the delightful rhododendrons, are both in flower around Melbourne.
THE RHODODENDRON For anyone who is not familiar with this either evergreen or deciduous tree, it is one of the most delightful flowers as can be seen on the following photo! In mass, they are simply stunning - there is no other word for them.
They are found mainly in Asia and are actually the national flower of Nepal.
Now you can see these flowers in full bloom at The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden. This was formerly named the National Rhododendron Garden and is located 40 km east of Melbourne on the eastern ridge of Dandenong Mountain and about 500 m from Olinda.
The park is a total land size of 20 hectares and it was founded in 1961 on lands granted by the state government. It was at this time that the Australian Society of Rhododendron (ASR) was founded.
Today, the garden is proud to have about 15,000 rhododendrons, 12,000 azaleas, 3,000 camellias, 250,000 daffodils. The park has a large lake, sensational gardens, with ferns, small gardens, and many other flowers.
The rhododendron is, however, the main flower of the park and they have about 550 of this fragrant shrubs! The colours of these flowers range from white to pink, red, yellow, and even a light mauve. There are even some that are multicoloured and with spots, stripes, or a single bit of a different colour.
The season for these flowers to bloom is from June to early in December, so there is plenty of time to get there and see this delightful display.
More about Rhodendrons The name comes from the Greek words "roden" which means rose, and "Dendron" which means tree. They are often referred to as "The king of shrubs" as they are considered the best flowering evergreen plant for a temperate climate.
Rhododendron foliage can vary dramatically from one to another, and they generally have anywhere up to 24 blooms.
The Rhododendron is a genus of over some 850 -1000 species of woody plants in the heath family (Ericaceae). They vary in size and CAN grow up to a 30-metre tree!
Another species, the Vireya rhododendrons occur in tropical regions in a limited area of the Southern Hemisphere.
Roses have been popular it seems like forever! In many gardens across Melbourne and indeed across Australia, you will see roses of all colours and sizes.
A single rose display in my kitchen
But to see them in mass, you will need to go to The Victoria State Rose Garden. This is managed by Parks Victoria and the Victoria State Rose Garden Supporters Inc., who are a large group of volunteers who care for the roses in every detail.
Weeping roses being attended by volunteers
For those of you who have never grown them, they are quite easy to grow and need pruning once a year, dead-heading, weeding around them, and mulching, in order to produce the best flowers. They are really not a lot of work and can brighten up both the garden and as a cut flower inside the house.
There are very many species of roses, with new ones being produced all the time, however, I still love the old-fashioned ones with that incredible scent the best! You can even buy ones nowadays without thorns!
At the Werribee gardens, they have over 5,000 rose plants and during November to March, it is a sight to behold! However there are still many flowers often to the end of May and sometimes even June, depending on the weather.