Dayna's Blog

Holidays, walks and who knows what


National Rhododendron Gardens – 21 Sep 2013

“Again?” I hear you ask. Yes, I’m afraid so. But stick with me; it’s a short post (which is how it’s jumped ahead of a couple of others) and it’ll be our last visit to the National Rhododendron Gardens for a while, I think. As beautiful and ever-changing as the gardens are, I think after this trip we can tick the box that says ‘Done’ for now.

We didn’t think we could tick that box off before for two reasons: 1) last trip we were too early for the cherry blossoms and 2) we also hadn’t seen the rhododendrons in flower!

Well, no more dear people! Feast you eyes upon these photos and sigh (possibly with relief) for there are cherry blossoms (though not nearly quite as many as we had imagined), rhododendrons (many more than we had imagined) and other flowers brightening the park with colour everywhere you care to look!

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Not previously being very familiar with rhododendrons, I was thinking to myself that a lot of them looked quite like azaleas. It turns out that azaleas are of the genus Rhododendron! That would explain it.

The promise of cherry blossoms and reasonable weather drew plenty of people to the park yesterday, and we (like many others) had to park down the side-road a way and walked back up to the entrance. (Note: if you go, wear sneakers at least. I saw more than one lady with shoes she probably didn’t plan to get mud over.) Today they’re expecting 4,000 visitors to the park! I wonder where they’re going to park their cars…

: )

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National Rhododendron Gardens – 1 September 2013

Melbourne has enjoyed a beautiful weekend! Winter was farewelled, and has been spring ushered in with sunny, warm days with temperatures in the low 20’s.

Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens

Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens

It won’t last, of course – it’s Melbourne! – so you’ve got to make the most of it while it does.

One of the things I love about Melbourne are the parks and the way people get out and use them.

People enjoying the Carlton Gardens on a beautiful afternoon

People enjoying the Carlton Gardens on a beautiful afternoon

Since spring has seemingly decided to arrive (or tease us) earlier than usual this year, we decided to go back up to the National Rhododendron Gardens, near Olinda on the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. Having been earlier in the year to see the leaves change colour in autumn, we thought we’d go back to see the cherry blossoms in the Cherry Tree Grove.


Petals in the gutter outside our house & there are plenty more along the footpaths – surely we should go up to see the cherry tree blossoms before we miss out?

Unfortunately we were a little eager – the climate around the Dandenong Ranges is cooler than Melbourne, so even though the tree outside our house has almost lost its flowers and is looking like it’s got most of its leaves back again, the cherry trees up on the mountain are only just budding.

Although the cherry trees might be taking their time waking up from winter, other plants like magnolias, daffodils and azaleas have been busy putting forth their blooms.

There also seemed to be more native birds around than last time, too. It’s always a treat to spot and identify them, too, even if it’s ‘just’ a fairly common New Holland Honeyeater or Eastern Yellow Robin. All up, a lovely day out.

: )