Saturday, December 14, 2013

Visit to the historical gardens of Duneira in Mt Macedon

During the last month of spring the gardens of Duneira in Mt Macedon were open for viewing. Even though it was the end of spring the weather on that day was particularly poor. So poor that I contemplated not going at all. In the end I motivated myself enough to make the trip and I'm glad I did. When I arrived the rain stopped and although the temperature was still a little mild the garden was empty of all other visitors. It almost felt as though I was intruding.

Duneira is one of Mt Macedon's most well known gardens. It's size is impressive with 25 acres of parkland surrounding the main central garden. Its original designer is unknown and the property itself has had 7 owners throughout its history. The last owner was Stuart Stoneman who, after his passing, bequeathed the care of Duneira to the Stoneman Foundation so the property is not personally owned as such.

The things I loved most about Duneira were the impressive driveway lined with elm trees and bluebells, the open parkland areas with established exotic trees and most of all the garden rooms lined by hedges. Judging from the size of most of the trees I'm guessing Duneira was left mostly unscathed by the 'Ash Wednesday' fires that swept through the mountain. I'm looking forward in visiting again in autumn to see what this amazing garden looks like in a different season.

View of the massive driveway which is lined with Dutch elms.  Due to the demise of so many elms overseas because of the elm beetle this sort of view is becoming quite rare.

Rhododendrons thrive in the naturally acidic soil and cooler climate of Mt Macedon. Duneira has some absolutely amazing specimens.

There were a few pieces of sculpture throughout the garden such as this lions head.

Unfortunately when I visited the bluebells were all finished for the year. They must look absolutely increadible when in flower because there were so many of them

More huge Rhododendrons.

A view from inside the Rhododendron cluster pictured above.

Hostas are in all the big gardens on the mountain that I have visited. They love the cooler climate.

These next 6 pictures are of the garden rooms lined with hedges. I think they refer to this part of Duneira as the 'secret garden'. It was my favorite part of the property.

I small view of the house itself which is not a huge house compared to the overall size of the property.

Along with the hostas, box hedge is also a common plant on the mountain.

A view of the main lawn outside the front of the house. I went to Christmas carols here last year. 


These red berries belong to a tree called Himalayan holly.

The next 2 pictures are of a variegated sycamore tree.

Aquilegias were throughout the garden

A weeping elm tree.

Japanese maples

A manicured variegated holly bush.

A view of the orchard towards the back of the property.