Melbourne’s Cloudehill Gardens is a must-see creation on the top of the Mount Dandenong. It is where gem-like plant rooms and a maze of stone walls are set within the woodlands of spectacular and historic climate trees.
The Cloudehill Gardens resemble the pages from classic English storybooks, particularly “The Secret Garden” written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Remember the time when Master Colins shocked his friends as he took his first steps at the garden?
So, relive your childhood memories and make new ones as you enter the “20 Magical Sections Of The Cloudehill Gardens”…
1. Diggers Shop
Upon entering the Cloudehill Gardens, you will be greeted by the pleasing Diggers Garden Shop and the incredible Bambouseraie. The Diggers Garden Shop sells a wide variety of plants and specializes on edible plants, cottage flowers, and heirloom seeds. You can view their extensive collection online by visiting https://www.diggers.com.au/shop.
Now, let us move on to the Bambouseraie. This fancy name comes with a longstanding charm as their cool temperate bamboos are in its premium condition throughout the year. What makes it special is that they incorporated a black bamboo and two golden bamboos. For someone who is easily attracted by anything that is gold, I would like to see that!
2. Restaurant Walk
Overlooking the scenic Cloudehill Gardens is the Seasons Restaurant that serves nothing but the freshest local produce. If you are searching for an ideal venue that can house an intimate gathering of 50 people, this is the perfect place for it.
The Restaurant Walk is a mixed border that especially dazzles in the summer and spring. Its structure is aided by a clipped dome-shaped Camellia and standard bays rising from a fence of Rosa rugosa Scabrosa. Look out for these lovely creations!
3. Commedia Dell’arte Lawn
Loosely translated into “Art Comedy Lawn”, the Commedia dell’arte Lawn consists of lively cut-out sculpture figures that float above the strips of rough grass. It also showcases two rare and magnificent Japanese shrubs that were imported in the ’20s.
4. Water Garden
As the name suggests, the Water Garden is the haven of grassy aquatics that are grown in pots. It is surrounded by hornbeam hedges and planted with ornamental grasses and American Oakleaf Hydrangeas.
5. Warm Borders
The Warm Borders boasts with a vast expansion of Herbaceous plants. These plants blossom in the shades of red, orange, and yellow. The mixture of colors are at its best from late November until early March.
Image Source: http://cloudehill.com.au/about.html
6. Maple Court
The Gardens is constructed around the two trees present in the Maple Court. These two trees are internationally significant as they were imported from the Yokohama Trading Nursery by Ted Woolrich in the ’20s.
7. Cool Borders
Much like the Warm Borders, Cool Borders delights its visitors with vibrant Herbaceous plants. The only difference is that the color of the plants lean towards the pastel shades.
Another highlight on this section are the “Fern Goddess Pieces” by artist Graeme Foote. I am so impressed by Foote’s talent in ceramic sculpting!
8. Summer House Garden
You will enjoy the beauty of the Summer House Garden as it showcases the English trees such as the Tri-colour Beech (Fagus sylvatica Roseomarginata) and the Fernleaf Beech (Fagus s. Asplenifolia). Consider taking colorful #OOTD’s on this section.
9. Quadrangle Lawn
Speaking of #OOTD, one of the most common caption along with one’s full-body picture is: “Earth without ART is just EH!” This may seem cliché but, it is true. The essence of art is to an extra dimension of depth and beauty to its surroundings.
Fortunately, the owners of the Cloudehill Gardens thought of a way to incorporate world-class art to nature’s masterpiece. The Quadrangle Lawn consists of different sculptures such as the kinetic piece by Rudi Jass and sphinx benches by Graeme Foote. These displays are complemented by a collection of topiary (i.e., practice of cutting plants into figures).
10. Marquee Lawn
Aside from the Seasons Restaurant, the Marquee Lawn is available for special occasions such as wedding ceremonies and family gatherings.
11. Gallery Walk
I will describe the Gallery Walk in one word – amazing. Let your eyes feast on the mixed shrub borders and bountiful roses in the area. The shrubs blossom from the spring to the early summer. While their collection of roses include the Scotch briars and Rosa spinosissima.
12. Peony Pavilion
The Peony Pavilion is filled with woodlanders such as astilbes, hostas, and the iconic Paris polyphylla. Contrary to its name, the Paris polyphylla is native to Asian countries including China and India.
13. Shade Borders
The Shade Borders is dominated by three clipped conifers, namely: the classic Taxus baccata, the weeping Pinus strobus Pendula, and the glorious Pinus thunbergii Yatsubusa (Japanese Black Pine).
14. Theatre Lawn
Picnickers attending the “Shakespearean Twilight Evenings” in the summer are entertained by the colossal tapestry at the Theatre Lawn. The Theatre Lawn pays homage to the classic theatres in the Italian Renaissance gardens as well as the Roman and Greek gardens.
15. Azalea Steps
The sides of the Azalea Steps are occupied by fragrant deciduous Azaleas. If you are wondering where these steps will take you, wonder no more. It leads to the Villa D’Este urn were the rare Rhododendron schlippinbachii can be found behind it.
16. Seasons Glade
The Seasons Glade is perhaps named after the lovely wooden sculpture displayed in this section called the Seasons. The Seasons, crafted by Leopoldine Mimovich, is a permanent attraction in the Gardens.
17. Upper Meadow
The Upper Meadow has a unique colony of the ancient double daffodil that is present during the Springtime. This section shows off the Grape Hyacinths in August to September and Bluebells in September to October.
18. Beech Walk
Visitors who are walking in the Beech Walk will see copper beeches that were planted in the ’60s. It best to view them while they are glistening in coppery-gold hue in April and May.
19. Lower Meadow
The captivating Chinese Yulan Tree resides in the Lower Meadow. In August, this huge tree produces clouds of “chalice-shaped” white flowers. Along with this, you will see an abundance of bulbs and meadow grass.
20. Kitchen Garden
The last but not the least section is the Kitchen Garden. It is the demonstration potager that mesmerizes its guests all winter long!
If you are eager to enter the wonders of the Cloudehill Gardens, take note of these helpful information:
Address 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda Victoria 3788
Telephone +61 3 9751 1009
Operating Hours 10am – 5pm
Rates AU$10 for adults & FREE for children (who are accompanied by paying adults)