If you live in Australia and are keen on gardens, you may well have heard of these gardens which are situated in Yarra Junction, Victoria. I first learnt about them through an advert at the back of the Gardening Australia magazine about 4 years ago, maybe longer. I’d never heard of them before and was excited to go visit. My husband came with me and we’ve been visiting there every year ever since. I also run a photography group and I’ve had members of the group there several times as well. The gardens are only open from late December (just after Christmas) through to around mid April as the warm weather is the ideal time to view these gardens. If you’ve not yet been, I encourage you to do so very soon – you will be delighted you did.
We went yesterday – the morning was a lovely calm, although a bit sultry, morning with a clear blue sky. However, that did change a couple of hours later as the winds picked up just a bit and brought with them, cloudy skies, which later turned to light rain as we sat and enjoyed lunch in the cafe at the gardens. Then we explored the nursery and gift shop ducking in and out of shelter during the drizzle before heading home with new plants and a new garden ornament – much to my hubby’s disgust. He doesn’t like gnomes. They’re actually three dwarfs I told him – from Snow White. They’ll be going in the fairy garden I’ve been slowly building.
Here are some images from the garden – I took well over 200 but I’ll save you from having to view them all! Click on the images to view a larger version if you wish.
At the entrance of the gardens is this gorgeous Persian Silk tree. In fact, there were a few dotted around the gardens. Graham and I have decided we want to grow one in our garden too and have already decided where we will plant one, when we get it.
Just some of the gorgeous Lotus flowers we saw. Quite a variety there over several ponds and a large lake called Monet’s Lake. You really have to see it full view from one end to really understand why it was given that name. Quite a picture!
And some of the water lilies we saw too.
There was also some bird life there – more variety than I’ve noticed on other visits. Was delighted to see, for the first time, an Australasian Grebe and also a Buff Banded Rail, with two little chicks running through the lily pads. Although couldn’t get a clear view of the Rail and its two chicks. You’ll see the Rail and one chick hiding in the first image behind the pink lotus flower. The Grebe is next. The third I’m yet to identify but think it might be a Reed Warbler. The fourth is Freddie, their resident Great Egret – couldn’t get a closer shot. The next is a Eurasian Coot and the last a male Fairy-Wren.
In these last images, there is a really unusual hibiscus. I asked at the nursery but they were unable to tell me the name and said that some plants were ‘one-offs’ that they got in. The next is a dried lotus pod which my husband says looks rather alien. The third is of the Taro Elephant Ears. We bought one of these plants to put by our own large pond at home. The fourth is a Papyrus in flower – didn’t know they flowered till I saw this. Then we also saw this beautiful blue dragonfly and the last is of their fairy garden. They have a fairy turn up too, to tell stories to children and also have photos taken with children.
So, it’s a great place to visit. Flat tracks for walking so easy for everyone. A play area for children. Picnic lawns and seats and tables dotted around the property. A sit down cafe and another area where you can order and collect as meals are ready. The food on the menu is healthy and delicious and there’s a variety of drinks to have too. You can also bring your own picnic lunch and drinks to eat around the place. Then there’s a lovely nursery and a gift shop too. You can definitely spend a few hours at this place. It’s open from 10am-5pm daily and you can find out more information here.