We’re not called the Garden State for Nothing
The list of Victoria’s parks and gardens is long, so we’ve prepared a short-list to guide your selection.
If we’ve missed any of your favourites, we’d love to include them. Send them through via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Dandenong Ranges, just to name a few, there are:
Alfred Nicholas Gardens – 1A Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke. Entry free.
Walking trails wind through this scenic, wooded garden park with a boathouse, waterfalls and islands.
Photo: The iconic boathouse at Alfred Nicholas Gardens
Cloudehill – 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda. Entry $10.
A four seasons garden where you can get lost in the themed garden rooms, discover iconic art pieces of well-acclaimed artists and quietly walk through the adjoining private garden to view the native lyrebirds. There’s also the opportunity for retail therapy at The Diggers Club Garden Shop.
Photo: The cool border at Cloudehill
Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden – The Georgian Road, Olinda. Entry free.
Formerly known as the National Rhododendron Gardens, take a walk along the perfectly curated paths and breathe in the beautiful fragrance as you stroll through the grounds.
George Tindale Memorial Gardens – 33 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke. Entry free.
The garden offers something new in each season. Their website describes ‘a myriad of flowers in spring; hydrangeas, liliums and fuchsias in summer; a canopy of gold, red, orange and burgundy in autumn and the flowers of the Lenten Rose or Hellebore beneath flowering shrubs in winter’.
Pirianda Gardens – Hacketts Road, Olinda. Entry free.
This terraced garden is distinctive for its combination of botanically important trees, shrubs and perennials with an over storey of large blackwoods and mountain ash towering over the natural fern gullies.
For cool climate gardens in the Macedon Ranges there are many gardens to choose from which are open to the public such as:
Bringalbit Historic Gardens – 512 Sidonia Road, Sidonia via Kyneton. Entry $5. Open to the public on weekends or weekdays by appointment.
A unique part of Australia’s rural history, this 1870s stone homestead, woolshed, stables and outbuildings are a remainder of times past. Huge old trees, ornamental lake and delightful gardens provide a rare setting of peace and tranquility.
Forest Glade Gardens – 816 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon. Entry $10.
A lush, scenic garden with English and Japanese sections, plus a woodland area and fern gully. Open every day of the year except days of total fire ban.
Photo: Laburnum arch at Forest Glade
Gardens of Tieve Tara – 751 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon. Entry $10.
A truly picturesque 7.5 acres featuring lush grounds, a whimsical playground, lakes, geese and fountains. Open spring and autumn.
There are lots of awesome year-round gardens to explore in other areas.
These gardens are all free entry:
Brimbank Park – Keilor Park Drive, East Keilor.
Part of the Maribyrnong Valley Parklands offering ideal settings for picnics, extensive network of trails, fishing, canoeing and bird watching, and a 'Playscape' haven for creative play that will inspire children and their families to connect with nature.
Hedgeley Dean Gardens – Glenbrook Avenue, Malvern East.
Situated amidst beautiful residential gardens and period houses, one of Malvern's most attractive and popular gardens – an established and well-maintained combination of lawns, deciduous and broadleaf trees and an ornamental lake.
Lambley Gardens and Nursery – 395 Lesters Road, Ascot.
David Glenn’s renowned and inspirational complex of vegetable, flower and ornamental gardens are a benchmark in dry-climate and sustainable gardening set in the central Victorian Goldfields.
Photo: Lambley Gardens
Maranoa Gardens – Yarrabat Avenue, Balwyn.
With some 5000 plants, most of which are named, Maranoa Gardens is a National Trust registered garden recognised as an important part of Australian gardening history.
Seawinds Gardens – 21 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat.
Historic gardens featuring expansive views, and walking paths.
Victoria Gardens – 361 High Street, Prahran.
Victoria Gardens is a two hectare urban parkland, which still retains many elements of its original Victorian character.
These gardens have an entry fee:
Alowyn Gardens – 1210 Melba Highway, Yarra Glen. Entry $10.
Lovely gardens with great nursery and café.
Garden of St Erth – 189 Simmons Reef Road, Blackwood. Entry to wander through St Erth gardens is free for Diggers Club members and children under 16; otherwise entry $10. There is no entry charge to visit the shop or café.
Photo: Perennial border at the Garden of St Erth
Heronswood – 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana. Entry into the gardens, gallery and restaurant is free for Diggers Club members and children under 16; otherwise Entry $10. There is no entry charge to visit the shop.
Rippon Lea – 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick VIC 3185. Entry $10.
A large 19th century mansion surrounded by 7 hectares of Victorian pleasure gardens, listed on the National Heritage Register as one of the finest examples of original suburban estate and gardens.
Photo: Rippon Lea garden in early spring
And of course, our wonderful public Botanic Gardens which are open to the public with no entry fee:
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne – Ballarto Road, Cranbourne
Photo: Rediscover the stunning Australian Garden at Cranbourne
Ballarat Botanical Gardens – Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree
Benalla Botanical Gardens – Bridge Street, West Benalla
Bendigo Botanic Gardens – 559 Napier Street, White Hills
Brimbank Park – Keilor Park Drive, East Keilor.
Burnley Gardens (University of Melbourne) – 500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley
Camperdown Botanic Gardens – Park Road, Camperdown
Colac Botanic Gardens – cnr Fyans and Gellibrand Streets, Colac
Footscray Park – Ballarat Road, Footscray.
Geelong Botanic Gardens – Eastern Park Drive East Geelong
Photo: 21st century design in Geelong Botanic Gardens
Hamilton Botanic Gardens – French Street, Hamilton
Karwarra Australian Plant Garden - Rear Kalorama Memorial Reserve, 1190-1196 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Kalorama
Melton Botanic Garden – 40 Lakewood Boulevard, Melton
Portland Botanical Gardens – Bentinck Street, Portland
Sale Botanic Gardens – Guthridge Parade, Sale
St Kilda Botanical Gardens – Blessington Street, St Kilda
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens – Botanic Road, Warrnambool
Williamstown Botanic Gardens – cnr Giffard and Osborne Streets, Williamstown
Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens – Frazer Street, Daylesford
Photo: Fernery at Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
Wilson Botanic Park - 668 Princess Highway, Berwick
So next time you can’t get to an OGV open garden, pull up this list. Head back to one of your favourite parks, or check out some public gardens you haven’t visited. We’re not called the Garden State for nothing!