Secret Gardens of the Dandenong Ranges logo

17-27 October 2018

​​Presented by 


Meeting at Olinda you will board the bus with botanical guide and expert plantsman Eddie Wasbutzki to enjoy the sights on the trip to Monbulk and the garden of creative design all rounder, Joost Bakker. A hero of sustainability his garden is modern and thoughtful and Joost will share his experiences as it evolved and continues to grow into the surrounding landscape. Mid morning will see you transported to Midgarth in Sherbrook where Viv Condon will share her passion for Alipne plants. Her experience shows in this garden as it evolves and grows. A very special lunch stop is then planned for the historical Ferny Creek Hall with a delightful and delicious country style CWA lunch and presentation on propagation from the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society. Wander the beautiful gardens and seek out its very special features before again being transported a short distance to Hillangully Homestead.  Beautifully restored and lovingly tended and managed the property features secret paths and stonewalls and a charming stream at the end of the garden. From here a very special experience is planned at ‘Beechmont’ in Olinda. Formal parterres, hedges, a walled garden and informal native gardens appeal to everyone who enjoys a tranquil retreat and makes the perfect setting to finish off the day with sparkling wine and canapés.​

Tuesday October 18th, 2016

Start 9.00am. Finish 6.15pm​

Our Guides

Friday October 21st, 2016

Start 9.00am. Finish 6.15pm

Meeting in Olinda on the final day the first stop is planned at “The Nook", a private garden in Monbulk, intimately planted and cared for by Val Jackson. Native garden lovers will be pleased with the following garden visit to Shirley Carn in Monbulk. Shirley’s new creation has been transformed and planned from a blank canvas featuring many rare and difficult to grow Australian plants. Cathy Ronald's spectacular rooftop garden then follows before a short trip then to the newly renovated King Henry Arts Café for a delicious lunch and wonder through the superb greenery and fern gully. Philip Johnson then opens his own garden where you can experience the contemporary rock garden on a grand scale, complete with waterfalls and billabongs. The week of impressive gardens will then conclude at the historic Mernda Heights with owner Norma Berry and an elegant wine and canapés evening touring her garden of significant history with trees and plants rich in natural sculpture and aged beauty.​

​Fill your senses with unforgettable sights, delicious local food and wine and the explosive smells of stunning spring gardens. Meeting at Olinda each morning to board the bus and travel through the hills with our expert guides for the day, you will explore some gardens you may know and also private gardens not usually open to the public. Lunch and refreshments will be provided through the local villages and special champagne evenings will be hosted in the gardens themselves. Never before has there been an event offering so much, at such a great price. Don't miss out on securing your place today.​

Eddie Wasbutzki is the current head gardener of the historically significant Beechmont Gardens in Olinda, a garden guide with Botanica and also looks after his own 2-acre garden. A passionate gardener and plant expert, Eddies knowledge has grown through the 30 years of his botanical career in both the floristry and nursery industry, most recently at Cloudehill

Eddie’s knowledge of the Dandenong Ranges gardens and the plants in them is exceptional and he will explore the gardens with you, bringing to life their history, special features and treasures. Eddie’s expertise will also inspire you as he shares his passion about plants.​

This exclusive event offers only 50 places each day. Space is limited and selling fast. Don't miss out on a week of memorable experiences in and around the Dandenong Ranges.

Robyn Menhennit was head gardener for Methodist Ladies College for many years and in that role designed many kinds of garden forms. From a Japanese Garden to supporting the Edna Walling area of the MLC garden, she was very entrepreneurial and worked closely with the schools community to build a memorable space for the students. Since then she has worked as a team member at Cloudehill in Olinda and has also assisted in garden design at a local blueberry farm. She is renowned for her cooking expertise and has worked extensively with the Country Women’s Association.

Monday October 17th, 2016

Start 9.00am. Finish 5.45pm​

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Meeting the tour at Olinda you will then travel the picturesque route to Sassafras to delight in the many gardens in the ‘The Cresecent’. Filled with delightful gardens and committed garden owners you will experience four different gardens. A special lunch treat will see you picnic in the surrounds of the magnificent “Cloudehill” where you can relax and admire the Japanese Maples of extraordinary beauty and wonderful Magnolias. You will travel from Olinda to Emerald to enjoy the sights and scents of Scotsmont on a spring day and then it’s a short trip onto Nobelius Heritage Park and Emerald Museum. The world famous Nobelius nursery of the late 1800’s leaves in its wake a stunning collection of plants grown and sold in the nursery. This is where you will finish with a unique tour with wine and canapés before heading back to Olinda.

2016 Revised Event Program