September 27, 2016
Exploring the Stunning Gardens and Parks of Boroondara
The City of Boroondara combines the old Kew, Camberwell and Hawthorn Councils. It is beset with exceptional areas of parkland and heritage gardens. That's one of the key reasons why real estate in the area is always in such high demand.
If it's a spring picnic that you're after, the City of Boroondara can provide many ideal locations. Here are five of the finest:
1. Alexandra Gardens - Cotham Road, Kew
Federation in style, the Alexandra Gardens are within walking distance of Kew Junction shops and transport options. The gardens were built in the early 1900s and cover 1.5 hectares. They feature many fine, established trees, sweeping lawns, an ornamental pond and picturesque rotunda which is a popular spot for weddings and other special occasions. Additional features include a children's playground and barbeque area, perfect for relaxed weekend gatherings.
2. Central Gardens - 32 Henry Street, Hawthorn
Central Gardens is the only large park in the immediate area and is therefore very popular with locals. The gardens are open and informal, unlike their original design in 1900. Back then they were a fine example of formal period style. A major highlight in the gardens these days is the children's playground. There's several interesting structures including a rocket to explore and with plenty of lawn area nearby, Central Gardens in Hawthorn is a brilliant spot for picnics and parties with little ones.
3. Maranoa Gardens, Yarrbat Avenue, Balwyn
Boroondara locals are blessed to have Maranoa Gardens right on their doorstep. With some 5000 trees and shrubs, the gardens are considered by many as one of the best displays of Australian native plants. The gardens are designed around a main circuit path that leads visitors through a number of zones. Each zone represents communities of plants associated with a particular combination of geology, land form, soil and climate. Open to the public since 1926 visitors can choose from a vast area of rolling lawn to throw down a picnic rug and unpack lunch.
4. Canterbury Gardens - 190B Canterbury Road, Canterbury
Online reviews describe the Canterbury Gardens as featuring "lovely paths and a cute little bridge, a rotunda and vast amounts of space." In fact the park features rolling lawns, specimen trees and superb, colourful displays of perennial borders and annual beds. The land was fenced in 1903 and named Canterbury Reserve after the Governor of Victoria (1866-1873), Viscount Canterbury. Since the 1940s Carols by Candlelight has been an annual fixture at the gardens, bringing local residents together.
5. Surrey Gardens - Union Road, Surrey Hills
Designed by William Guilfoyle, designer of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, the Surrey Gardens offer picnickers a gentle sloping lawn to take in the historic elements of the park. A stone cross and war memorial shrine (cenotaph) was erected after World War 1 and is reputed to be one of the first in Australia. It contains a rare art nouveau wood carved historic honour roll. Two cannons are located at the highest part of the Gardens. These were purchased in 1901 to commemorate the end of the Boer War.