As the crisp Winter dew begins to melt, the Daylesford Macedon region unfurls like a flower bud turning to the morning sun.
Ripe, rich and ready to shine, the gardens of the area are in abundance. Following are some of the must-see locations of secret flourishing habitats in our region, just waiting to be explored.
FOREST GLADE: A mixture of landscaping styles taking inspiration from English, Italian, Japanese and woodland traditions, the gardens at Forest Glade are over 100 years old and set on 14.5 acres. Open every day 10am to 4:30pm. Entry is $10 per adult, with children free.
TIEVE TARA: Undulating over 7.5 acres of sweeping lawns and lakes, Tieve Tara has interesting walks, a superb view to Mt Macedon and a vast collection of trees, plants and shrubs. Gardens open weekdays in Spring 10am-4pm and weekends and holidays 10.30am-5pm. Entry is $10 (under 12 free).
LAMBLEY GARDENS AND NURSERY: Visitors can wander the varied gardens of Lambley every day for free from 9am-5pm. Take in ideas from the family’s ‘Vegetable and Flower Cutting’ gardens, while admiring vivid year-round displays in the ‘Ornamental Gardens’ before checking out the range of frost-hardy plants for sale.
ARD CHOILLE HERITAGE GARDENS: Botanically and historically, the garden of Ard Choille is one of the best in Mount Macedon. Go on a garden photography ramble during spring, with morning or afternoon tea catered on request. Price range $10 - $15. Bookings essential via email.
BUDA HISTORIC HOME AND GARDEN: A ‘Museums Galleries Australia’ listed home, the important Goldfields-era building housed the same family for 118 years. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 12-5pm and on Sundays (and public holidays from 10am-5pm). Entry $5-$12.
BRINGALBIT: The 1870’s stone homestead, the woolshed, stables and outbuildings are a reminder of times past. The huge old trees, ornamental lake and delightful gardens provide a rare setting of peace and tranquility. Open on weekends 10am-4pm. Entry is $5 (children free).
THE GARDEN OF ST ERTH: Take in the September daffodil display and enjoy fresh produce straight from the ground at the ‘Fork to Fork Cafe’ (restricted days) at ‘The Diggers Club’ garden. Entry to the Gardens of St Erth are free for members and children under 16, or $10 for visitors - 7 days from 9am-5pm.
SPRING HILL PEONY FARM: The cooler climate of the central ranges sees the bloom of peonies from mid-November to first week of December and you can enjoy the seasonal open days to soak up these pretty-looking flowers.
ROMSWOOD FARM: Look out for November’s annual Harvest Picnic Open Days and see the paddocks of colour as they bud and flower on the family-run flower farm and extensive established gardens.
WOMBAT HILL (DAYLESFORD), GISBORNE, CASTLEMAINE, MALMSBURY AND KYNETON BOTANIC GARDENS: All founded between the 1850s and 1860s (with the exception of the Gisborne Gardens in 1992), the botanic gardens of the region each have their own character, charm and unique plantings.