A Spring Guide to Open Gardens in the Macedon Ranges

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Pack a thermos of tea and homemade bickies. It’s time for a country-style floral infusion in the Macedon Ranges.

A ramble in the garden is good for the soul. And there’s a plethora of stunning Macedon Ranges gardens that open their gates during spring for your rambling pleasure.

Each open garden is unique. You can easily plan multiple day trips or overnight getaways to enjoy an idyllic spring day immersed in daffodils and blossom, lilac and roses, rhododendron and viburnum. Heavenly.

What is an open garden?

An open garden is essentially a private garden that open their gates to the public at set times. An admission fee or donation is charged to enter the property. You can spend as long as you want enjoying the garden. Some even allow you to bring your dog on a lead (always check first).

Open gardens usually coincide with a season when they’re at their magnificent best. In the Macedon Ranges it’s typically during autumn and spring. Often they tie in with special events such as the Kyneton Daffodil & Arts Festival, annual Garden Lovers’ Fair or the Open Gardens Victoria program.

Why visit an open garden?

It’s common knowledge spending time in nature is good for your general well-being. However, open gardens also provide:

  • Inspiration for your own garden
  • An idyllic destination for family picnics
  • The perfect spot for artists and amateur photographers to capture, draw and paint botanical scenes
  • A haven for enthusiastic horticulturalists

This open gardens guide is designed to help you map out your social calendar for spring.

Get ready to make memories with loved ones in the gardens of the Macedon Ranges. With a few Devonshire teas along the way of course…

1. Romswood Peony Farm 2. Garden of Tieve Tara on Mount Macedon 3. Set up an easel in the spring sunshine

Kyneton Daffodil & Arts Festival Spring Open Garden Program

Up to 18 gardens are open to the public in and around Kyneton during the annual Kyneton Daffodil & Arts Festival, including approximately eight ‘edible’ gardens.

Open gardens

Public locations such as ‘The Golden Mile of Daffodils’, Kyneton Botanic Gardens and Malmsbury Botanic Garden are free to enjoy. Other open gardens charge a small admission with proceeds going to charity.

When: Friday 6 September – Sunday 15 September

Where: Various locations in Kyneton and throughout the region

View open garden program.

Edible gardens

When: Saturday 7 September – Sunday 8 September

Where: Various locations in Kyneton and throughout the region

All edible gardens demonstrate sustainable, chemical free methods of growing healthy, fresh food. Visit these gardens for inspiration and encouragement to plant your own veggie garden.

View edible gardens program.

Kyneton daffodil & arts festival open gardens

Kyneton Botanic Gardens

Gardens of Tieve Tara

When: 1 September – 30 November 2019 | weekdays from 10 – 4pm | weekends & public holidays 10.30 – 4.30pm

Where: 751 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon

Admission: $10 per person | kids under 12 free | assistance dogs only allowed | no public toilets available

Considered the ‘jewel of the mountain’, Gardens of Tieve Tara spans 7.5 acres on a historic private property on Mount Macedon.

With sweeping lawns, lakes, established trees and an abundance of spring flowers, this stunning garden is only open to the public during the months of spring.

It’s a beautiful, tranquil oasis for picnics and heaven for kids, with play equipment and plenty of nooks to explore.

The garden’s lakes are also home to Toulouse geese and wild ducks. On clear days the lakes reflect the striking colour and shapes of surrounding trees. A photographers paradise!

PS. No dogs allowed.

Gardens of Tieve Tara

Forest Glade

When: Year round from 10am, last entry 4.30pm. Closed on total fire ban days.

Where: 816 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon

Admission: $10 per person | kids 16 and under free | disabled and carers free | dogs on leads allowed | toilet facilities for patrons only

Acknowledged as one of the most beautiful gardens in Australia, Forest Glade is set on a historic private property on Mount Macedon.

It offers plant lovers a mix of landscaping styles and designs with four distinct themes. Dotted with an awe-inspiring collection of sculptures, the garden includes a large English section with giant exotic trees, a popular Japanese section, a woodland area with masses of shade-loving plants, and a cool fern gully complete with a bubbling creek.

Bring a picnic and your pooch on a lead. You can easily spend an entire day here!

FOREST-GLADE-GARDENS-MT-MACEDON

This stunning Laburnum Archway is at its peak during November.

 

Ard Choille

When: By appointment only. Call 0408 118 318 to book.

Where: Turner Avenue, Woodend

Admission: $8 per person | children under 12 free | assistance dogs only allowed | toilet facilities available

Tucked away in the fold of the hills is this magical garden pronouncd ‘Arda Hillier’.

Ard Choille differentiates from other open gardens on the mountain, in that it sits on the northern, rather than southern slopes of Mount Macedon.

Described by the National Trust of Victoria as one of the 12 outstanding gardens of Mount Macedon, Ard Choille captures the feel of a gracious and inspirational 19th century garden.

It takes full advantage of the unique cool climate of Mount Macedon, with Birches, Beeches, Elms, Oaks, Firs, Lindens, Rowans, Dogwoods, Conifers and numerous tree ferns. There are also masses of rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas and thousands of daffodil bulbs.

The garden includes a particularly fine and rare 19th Century metal shade house, which is individually classified by the National Trust and is still used today.

Ard Choille Heritage Gardens

Dreamthorpe

When: 5 – 6 October 2019 | 10 – 4.30pm

Where: 445 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon

Admission: $10 per person | $5 students | Under 18 free

A renowned hill station garden of Mount Macedon, open over the weekend of the annual Garden Lovers’ Fair at Bolobek.

Rarely opened, this property harks back to life lived on a grand scale, where beautiful houses and gardens were shielded from public view behind hedges, leaving outsiders to only imagine their sweeping lawns and wonderful plants.

This romantic, tranquil garden has abundant separate sitting spaces, with woodland, herbaceous borders, circles of lilacs and roses, arches planted with roses and clematis, and rhododendrons.

Meander through these distinctive spaces, over mossy steps and along winding lawn paths that lead you through bulb-filled woodlands carpeted with crocus, naturalised cyclamens, hellebores, snowdrops, daffodils and jonquils. The flowering reaches its crescendo with a vast carpet of bluebells.

Turritable Creek flows through the garden over three waterfalls and under several bridges as it winds its way under a canopy of massive Pin Oaks and Japanese Maples.

It is a garden of gently flowing yet distinctive spaces, each with their period of glory, yet melded into a harmonious environment which lifts the spirit and soothes the soul.

Dreamthorpe

Duneira

When: 2 – 3 November 2019 | 10 – 4.30pm

Where: Officer Lane, Mount Macedon

Admission: $10 per person | $5 students | Under 18 free

Purchased in the 1870s, Duneira comprises more than 38 acres (with approximately 16 acres under garden) and rises to over 820 metres above sea level.

The gardens are considered to be of ‘outstanding cultural significance’ by the National Trust of Australia. Several of the trees are listed on the Register of Significant Trees of Victoria. And the Elm Avenue is referred to as ‘one of the best surviving examples of a private formal avenue in Victoria’.

The lawns have been a feature of Duneira since the 1890s. There are four major areas: the East Lawn; the West Lawn; the East Terrace Lawn; and the Central Terrace Lawn.

Over 150 named varieties of rhododendrons, along with Mollis azaleas, dogwoods and a vast collection of holly species are present. Bulbs include bluebells, muscaris, crocuses and
daffodils.

duneira

Garden Lovers’ Fair @ Bolobek

When: 5 – 6 October 2019 | 10 – 4.00pm

Where: 370 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon

Admission: $12 per person per day | $20 for the weekend | children under 15 free

The Mount Macedon & District Horticultural Society’s annual Garden Lovers’ Fair is on again at the beautiful private gardens of Bolobek.

Featuring 40+ unique stall holders and guest appearance by renowned landscape designer Paul Bangay, this is an event  and open garden not to be missed by plant and garden enthusiasts!

This is an opportunity to purchase rare bulbs, heritage seeds, unusual perennials and all things that garden lovers dream of for their garden.

There’ll also be garden tours of the beautiful Bolobek and children’s activities, plus food, wine and coffee stalls.

Order your tickets online now.

Garden Lovers Fair

Bringalbit

When: Weekends 10 – 4pm or by appointment (phone 03 5423 7223)

Where: 512 Sidonia Road, Sidonia (15 minutes from Kyneton)

Admission: $10 per person for garden and homestead | $5 garden only | toilet facilities available | assistance dogs only allowed

Combine a day exploring nearby Kyneton with a ramble in the wild gardens of Bringalbit in the Sidonia hills. First settled in 1858, the garden is a unique part of Australia’s rural history.

The garden rambles through ten acres of parkland with huge old trees, an ornamental lake and stone walls. Peacocks, ducks, chickens, guinea fowl, wild birds, Suffolk sheep and Highland cattle are a feature of the farm. It’s stunning. They even have accommodation if you want to stay the night.

Tip: Pay a visit to Kyneton’s Country Cob Bakery on the way and stock up on their amazing pies for a picnic at the gardens. This bakery is the 2017 & 2018 & 2019 winner of Australia’s Best Pie, Best Meat Pie, Best Seafood Pie & Best Gourmet Pie. It also rocks an award-winning innovative Mascarpone Cheese & Berry Vanilla Slice. Yum!

Romswood Peony Farm Picnic & Open Day

When: 16 – 17 and 23 – 24 November 2019 | 11 – 4pm

Where: 155 Cherokee Rd, Kerrie (approximately 60 minutes from Melbourne)

Admission: Discounted tickets ($13) are available online or pay $15 per person at the farm gate | Under 18 free entry | Peonies cost $3 per stem.

Romswood Peony Farm is a beautiful place to satiate your passion for peonies.  Held over two weekends, you can pick your own peonies directly from the farm. And with five acres of beautiful established gardens, it’s also the perfect picnic destination for a spring weekend jaunt. Kids also love visiting the peony farm and going on the ‘Wombat Walk’.

There’s live folk music on both Sundays, a gift shop stocked with peony inspired products, and a plant stall. Coffee, drinks, gourmet burgers and treats are available or BYO your own picnic. It’s pet friendly, but please respect other garden lovers.

Romswood Peony Farm

Image credit: Ruby Henshall

Melrose

When: 30 November – 1 December 2019 | 10 – 4.30pm

Where: 33 Clowes Street, Malmsbury

Admission: Keep an eye on the Open Gardens Victoria What’s On page for details to come.

Stay tuned for more information!

Did you know about the Daylesford Macedon Flower Farm Trail?

The Macedon Ranges and nearby Daylesford is fast becoming home to a new crop of artisanal, bee-friendly, sustainable flower farms.

With peak flower season running from spring, through summer, and into autumn, local micro flower farmers abound with beautiful blooms including roses, peonies, dahlias, cosmos, daffodils, hellebores, lavender, proteas, ranunculus, tulips and sweet peas, as well as foliage, grasses and natives.

In 2019 the inaugural Daylesford Macedon Flower Farm Trail and Map was launched, designed to offer visitors to the Macedon Daylesford region a way to find and enjoy unique floral experiences. You’ll discover everything from on-farm luxury farmhouse ‘slow-stay’ accommodation, workshops and tours; to quaint road-side stalls and direct DIY farm gate sales for weddings, events and home.

Find out more here.

Working Rose Farm

Crofters Fold Estate is part of the Daylesford Macedon Flower Farm Trail

Find out what’s happening in the Macedon Ranges this month

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