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Top 12 Open Gardens in Melbourne

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by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published October 12th 2013
What's your fancy? Peaceful gardens with flawless lawns, weeping elms or indigenous flora. You don't have to wait until Spring to visit open gardens. There's plenty of gardens to enjoy all year long. Use my pick a style guide to help you make your selection.

Style 1. Environmentally conscious garden or water saving strategies:

1. Bushy Creek and Greenlink Nursery
cnr Wimmera St & Dorking Rd, Box Hill North

Greenlink is a voluntary organisation that focuses on the restoration and management of local flora. They aim 

to enhance and preserve the natural environment by propagation of indigenous flora.

Style 2. Artistic garden adventure.

2. King Parrot Valley Country Retreat, Banksia Gallery and Gardens
26 Wentworths Rd, Strath Creek

Classified by National Trust and set in a secluded 30 hectares this garden adventure ideal for nature lovers and bird watchers. Take a stroll on the nature walking tracks, do a garden tour, try some bush food or enjoy olive tasting. King Parrot Valley has accommodation and art sales on site.

3. Heidi Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen

On sixteen acres of parklands, juxtaposed with outdoor art and indoor galleries. Heide features modern and contemporary art, architecture and landscape. Well known for their reasonably priced tasty lunch boxes available at the from café.

Style 3. Mediterranean and South African influence

4. Out of Town Nursery and Humming Garden
980 Chiltern Rd, Beechworth

Nestled in the foothills of the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, this 3 acre garden is comprised of many native and exotic plants. Enjoy the quirky garden art in this peaceful garden setting. Unusual plants are sold at reasonable prices.

Style 4. Formal gardens

5. Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens
66 McCrae St, Dandenong

Heritage Hill is comprised of three historic buildings. It provides an opportunity for visitors to appreciate Australia's cultural heritage. Exhibitions, group tours and specialist events are on offer.

6. Werribee Park Formal Gardens
K Rd, Werribee

The beautiful Victorian style Werribee Mansion is worth the visit on its own but it is also a lovely place for a leisurely walk. The park is 10 hectares of beautiful formal gardens and open space parkland. It is famous for its rose garden.

7. Ripponlea House and Gardens
192 Hotham St, Elsternwick

The location of this grand estate is a bit of a surprise. Close to the city and amongst busy city streets, Ripponlea stands proud on the sweeping lawns. The garden is nearly 6 hectares with magnificent trees, a lake, an expansive orchard and Southern Hemisphere's largest fernery.

Climb the lookout tower, play croquet or enjoying tea or coffee in the Gate House.

8. Nyerimilang Heritage Park
Kalimna West

Nyerimilang Homestead is on a cliff top above the beautiful Gippsland Lakes. This is a perfect place for a picnic spots, scenic walks or bush walk. This area includes semi-formal gardens and wetlands and the East Gippsland Indigenous Plant Garden.

Style 5. Coastal and subtropical gardens

9. Heronswood – The diggers club
105 LaTrobe Pde, Dromana


Enjoy the lakes and stunning Blue Lotus Watergarden where you can see exotic water lilies and lotus flowers. The Diggers Club boasts Australia's largest range of heirloom vegetables, cottage flowers and fruit plants. They sell plants that you cannot find anywhere else. It's reassuring to know they are trialled for hardiness and drought tolerance. They also have a delivery service.

Style 6. Rare and exotic plants

10. Ferny Creek Ornamental Garden Reserve
100 Hilton Rd, Sassafras

This is a garden with many rare, exotic and unusual trees and shrubs and water features. On one side of the hall, large Mountain Ash and Mountain Grey Gums dominate the 'old' garden. Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Azaleas Hydrangea, Mahonia, Protea and Camellia are plentiful. Also make time to see the Rock and native gardens.

The gardens are open to the public during shows and regular free-guided tours are available. In addition you can ring for an appointment for special interest groups or book the garden for functions.

Style 7. State Forest

11. Sky High
26 Observatory Rd, Mount Dandenong

Magnificent views of Melbourne and a lush native state forest is open at Sky High everyday of the year. The facility includes a cafe and a maze for kids. This is a well frequented location for picnics and to view the sunset with a backdrop of city lights.

Style 8. European style, rural garden

12. Lavand Swiss Italian Farm

Set within the grounds of a 1860 Swiss-Italian stone farmhouse
this farm yard is appealing for its animals, cafe and shop.
The licensed cafe serves from Mediterranean cuisine lunches and the shop sells homewares, potions and lotions for the body and soul.

Relax, do some bird watching, walk in a garden that is beautiful or play Pétanque.

Take your pick, any style, many gardens. I haven't included the many botanical gardens that are also open all year long and are usually free. Be inspired by the many open garden styles in Victoria. I take false pride in knowing my eclectic garden somehow reflects a little of nearly all of these.
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When: Open all year round
Where: In and around Melbourne
Your Comment
Although looks fabulous at night. I've only ever been in dautime
by Grant (score: 2|294) 1990 days ago
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