Cloudehill Gardens

Phil and I recently had a weekend away in Melbourne, and instead of spending all of our time in the city we decided to spend a day and a night in the Dandenongs. This region is a mountainous, forested paradise only an hour from Melbourne. Of course we didn’t have time to explore all the gardens, little shops, and quirkily named restaurants, but the places we did manage to visit were all beautiful. There’s one place I particularly wanted to share with you.

Cloudehill nursery and gardens is located in the village of Olinda. The hosts at our bed and breakfast told us that Burke’s Backyard had rated it as one of the top ten gardens in the world, a claim which, having visited it, I can readily believe. Cloudehill is beautiful.

The garden occupies several acres of sweeping hillside with views to the tranquil Yarra Valley, and is surrounded by a forest of mountain ash. The garden itself is planted in the style of a formal English garden, with several different ‘rooms’, allowing different styles in different areas. There are herbaceous borders, rose beds, ponds, sculptures, trees, lawns…everything.

Best of all, you can visit Cloudehill at any time of year as there’s always something to see. Bulbs peeking out in the meadows, japanese maples blushing pink, huge rhododendrons, neatly topiaried shrubs.

There is a small charge for admission, from memory it was about $7, and well worth it. Attached to the gardens is a plant nursery and a restaurant—we didn’t visit either but both seem to have earned good reviews. The neighbouring gardens, Rangeview, are also accessible from the Cloudehill grounds, for the cost of a gold coin donation. This wilder, more foresty plot brought back strong memories of Enid Blyton books.

I would recommend Cloudehill to anyone visiting the Dandenongs. It’s beautiful, peaceful, good value, and lovely at any time of year. Even if you’re not a fan of formal gardens—and I’m not—you will love this one.


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One Response to “Cloudehill Gardens”

  1. Suze Says:

    I like the greenman … very celtic :)

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