The greater Richmond suburb incorporates Cremorne and Burnley and at the Burnley Gardens is the Melbourne School of Land and Environment - part of Melbourne University. It is here that students learn their 'gardening' and other skills to take out into the big wide world. But their world at the Gardens is pretty special.
|'Abseiling' a tree! Learning how to lop a branch|
Students can be found throughout the gardens weeding, planting, digging, learning to lop a branch and generally keeping the beautiful grounds in tip top condition. I guess they get good marks for good weeding, good tree lopping, mowing and much much more! The gardens were established way back in 1863 and are listed under the auspices of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. They are located at 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond and are open to the public 7 days a week. The coffee shop however is only open Monday-Friday mainly to serve the staff and students of the campus - but as it is run by Tansy Good (of the famed Tansy's Restaurant in Carlton which sadly closed a number of years ago) if you drop in during the week there will be a great cake, coffee, soup and famed chicken sandwiches etc to fill the cockles of your heart!
|The on-campus cafe|
What is not generally known is that the gardens are open to anyone! And what gardens they are - just look at the following! The Heritage listed Summer House was built in 1911-12. It's a lovely place to sit and ponder the gardens and their lovely vistas.
|The pretty heritage listed Summer House with the ubiquitous palm in the background!|
Then there is the 'sunken garden' which is built on the site of the Principal's House (lucky him - I'm sure it wasn't a her in those days!) c. 1870 - 1980.
|The sunken garden on the site of the Principal's House|
And then of course there are the vistas - of which there are just so many on this 8 hectare site.
|Rolling lawns and ancient trees|
|I hope you've got the picture!|
So take yourself off to visit this hidden gem. You'll have it to yourselves except for the students and staff on campus and just a few visitors. The gardens are tranquil, interesting and frankly a joy to behold.
Bowen Cottage client comment: Thanks for the chocolate treat by the bed!