Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Visit to the historical Cameron Lodge Botanical Gardens in Mount Macedon

Last weekend I visited the Cameron Lodge gardens in Mount Macedon near my home and they didn't fail to impress. Originally built in 1886 it was names 'Rahiri'. In 1916 It was purchased by William Cameron who has the director of British American Tobacco who renamed it Cameron Lodge. William Cameron was the one who commissioned the landscaping work on the property and is thereby credited with creating the gardens. Cameron Lodge is one of the luck properties that survived the Ash Wednesday bushfires in the 1980s so there are lots of large established trees such as a Giant Sequoia, Pin Oaks, Oriental Spruce, Japanese Maples, English Elm and Copper Beech. In my opinion the highlight of the gardens is a structure build in 1932 called the 'Temple of the Winds' which is a pillared structure surrounded in the middle of a large pond. You need to step over small stepping stones to get to it. The garden also contains a potager (picking / vegetable garden) with beds bordered by box hedge and the whole potager surrounded by a large holly hedge. Cameron Lodge is a massive garden of several hectares and as such it has 2 full time gardeners and 1 full time hedger. Topiary and hedges play a massive part in the design of the garden to the point where a service driveway hundreds of metres long is completely hidden by huge hedges which run its entire length. Cameron Lodge is a really beautiful and huge garden and I highly recommend visiting on one of its open days. It is part of the open gardens scheme in Victoria. 

The sound of this fountain is audible from the entrance and its head peeks over the top of a hedge.

This is the pittosporum hedge which forms the front border of the property.

Box hedge creating the border for this garden bed. A theme repeated throughout the garden.

A view of the front fountain in its entirety.

The main residence of Cameron Lodge. Although a large house I liked the fact that it was a bit less monstrous in terms of height compared to some of the Mount Macedon properties. 

View from the main residence looking toward the back of the property.

View of garden beds on the side of the main residence.

Some topiary near the smaller cottage in the middle of the gardens.

One thing I gained from the visit was an appreciation of Holly like this nice variegated specimen.

There were lots of trees in the garden and lots of nice shadows cast across the paths.

View of the 'Temple of the winds'

One of several elephants in the pond surrounding the temple.

The stepping stones which are the only way to get to the temple.

View from the temple looking across the pond which surrounds it.

The maples were just starting to colour up for Autumn.

These 'Roman Baths' are one of the features that were recently restored.

This pergola was enveloped by Wisteria.

This is part of the long driveway which is hidden by hedges. You can see why they need a full time hedger.

One of the herbaceous beds.

Vegetable beds in the potager. They were a bit lacking in produce but that may be indicative of the season.

These Dahlias were also in the potager probably grown for picking and display in the house.

More Autumn colour showing in the trees

Some stone steps near the middle of the gardens. The property is quite steep in parts, the gardeners must be fit from all the uphill walking they need to do.

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