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Monday, August 02, 2010

National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda




The National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda, 50 om east of central Melbourne, are host to an unparalleled variety of brilliantly coloured blooms, mainly rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Of international reputation, these magnificent gardens attract thousands of visitors during all seasons.

Some members of the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society formed the Australian Rhododendron Society in 1960 and approached the Forests Commission for a suitable site to establish a rhododendron garden. A 20 ha site, extended to 40 ha in 1975, was selected from the Olinda State Forest on the eastern ridge of Mount Dandenong. In 1995, the National Rhododendron Gardens came under the management of Melbourne Parks and Waterways (now Parks Victoria).

The gardens are a combination of individual gardens and spaces, each different. Each area, however, contains rhododendrons chosen for their growth habit and their ability to fit in with the other plants of that garden.

The National Rhododendron Gardens are host to 15,000 rhododendrons, 12,000 azaleas, 3,000 camellias and 250,000 daffodils.

I visited these beautiful Gardens on Sunday August 1, 2010, a very cold day.

Since July 1, 2010, admission to the gardens is free.

My 4 km visit included the magnificent Lake, the Lyrebird Gully, the Lyrebird Creek Walking Track, Cherry Tree Lane, the Japanese Tea House, the Rockeries, Fern Gullies, and of course the colorful winter flower displays.

Interpretative signs describe each of the principal plants and trees.

There are excellent views across the Olinda Forest to the Silvan Reservoir to the Yarra Ranges and the Victorian Alps.

See the Gardens' Website at Parks Victoria:

http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=162

See all of the Photos of my visit.

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