A very long time ago, in my early 20’s, I was sitting in a café in picturesque Daylesford.

I remember vividly thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to live here and open my very own nursery.  Dreams do come true. Twenty years on, I’m almost a local, having lived here for fifteen years and have been operating my own nursery, The Secret Garden of Daylesford, for the past twelve years.

There’s something about the Daylesford and Macedon region that has always captured my imagination. I’m still in love with the enchanting giant old gum trees that I wind through, leading into this picturesque township nestled high on Wombat Hill that I now call home.  Stunning and carefully planted conifers, deciduous trees and resilient old rhododendrons and camellias flourish amongst quaint cottages giving the villages here a unique European flavour.

It is a must to visit our region in March, April and May.  Autumn is simply stunning.  You will see grand old maples, liquid ambers, oak trees, birches, claret and golden ashes and smoke bush – just to name a few.  The trees put on their own light show of colour and movement.

A vast array of colours glow on a crisp autumn day- golds, deep burgundies, burnt oranges and dazzling shades of pinks and reds. The colours play with the light and the leaves dance on the cool breeze.

Places to visit in autumn: Daylesford Botanical Gardens, the Avenues of Honour in Glenylon, Woodend and Macedon, the stately street trees in Trentham and Kyneton, the Kyneton Botanical Gardens, and of course Mt Macedon with its exquisite European trees and stunning gardens to view.

The other truly beautiful aspect of autumn in our region are all the perennials that flower madly before winter.  Local gardens can be seen brimming with colour in the ‘cool off’ period after a long hot summer.  I would thoroughly recommend visiting the beautiful gardens of Lamley in Ascot, Frogmoore Nursery in Blackwood and the Garden of St Erth.  They each have a beautiful blend of advanced autumn trees surrounded by an abundance of many hardy and prolific flowering perennials.

Oh and of course come in and visit me at The Secret Garden of Daylesford and you can take a piece of autumn home with you.  I have lovely perennials and trees for sale.

Be sure to bring a warm jacket and walking shoes to witness this beautiful season first hand.

Due to the volume of visitors and limited parking in April to the Macedon Avenue of Honour, Macedon Ranges Shire Council will be running a free shuttle service this year. Go to mrsc.vic.gov.au for details.

Photo: Beck Walker

About the author

Louise McLachlan, The Secret Garden Daylesford
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The Secret Garden of Daylesford is a select plant nursery near the centre of town. The adventure begins the moment you enter the gates!

You’ll find surprises and discoveries around every corner, with our special blend of art and garden enhanced by advanced trees and shrubs giving scale and size to a living secret garden. We pride ourselves on the best quality of trees and shrubs you can buy, and the quirkiest garden art you will find, mostly handcrafted by local artists.

The Secret Garden is designed such that you’re able to explore over three elevated levels, each with separate garden rooms, to meander through and be inspired by what is possible in your garden!