A decade after its groundbreaking success at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show, in London the iconic ‘Australian Garden’ has found a permanent home in the heart of Olinda’s Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden. Landscape Designer Phillip Johnson, in collaboration with Horticulturalist Wes Fleming and the Trailfinders Team, has recreated this award-winning masterpiece, showcasing over 15,000 plants from 400 native Australian species.
In 2013, the Australian Garden made history as the first-ever Australian entry to win the coveted Gold and Best in Show accolades at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. A decade later, its legacy continues to flourish in Olinda. Spanning an impressive 20 times the size of its original build, this botanical wonder has transformed a portion of the former Olinda Golf Course into a captivating and biodiverse garden. It stands as a testament to the creativity, skill, and dedication of its visionary creators.
The garden is accessible to walkers, wheelchairs and prams and I love that this inclusive approach has been taken. There are plenty of benches throughout for those needing a rest, or those who just wish to pause and take in the surrounds. The garden also includes several public art sculptural pieces, decking and small bridge (which was my 4 year old’s favourite feature).
The Chelsea Australian Garden is a magnificent showcase of Australia’s rich and diverse plant heritage. With an awe-inspiring collection of 15,000 plants, representing over 400 native Australian species, the garden encapsulates the country’s unique and fragile ecosystems. Visitors are treated to a breathtaking array of wildflowers, majestic eucalyptus trees, and vibrant shrubs, all meticulously arranged to highlight the natural beauty and harmony found in Australia’s native flora. As they explore the garden, guests gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of conserving and preserving these precious plant species.
Beyond its stunning aesthetics, the Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda serves a vital role in supporting local biodiversity and habitat creation. By converting a portion of the former golf course, the garden has become a haven for native plant species and an important ecological refuge. It provides a sanctuary where visitors can witness first hand the intrinsic connection between plants, animals, and the delicate balance of ecosystems.
The reincarnation of the award-winning Australian Garden in Olinda stands as a remarkable achievement in landscape design and conservation. With its expansive size, diverse plant collection, and commitment to preserving biodiversity, this remarkable garden will continue to inspire and educate visitors about the wonders of Australia’s native flora for years to come. A visit to the Chelsea Australian Garden promises an unforgettable journey through the natural splendor and ecological significance of Australia’s remarkable landscapes.
The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens (of which the Chelsea Australian Garden is part) is managed by Parks Victoria. The garden is free to explore and open every day from 10am-5pm except for Christmas Day and days of total fire ban or severe weather events. Areas of the carpark can be muddy so during wet seasons I would recommend stout boots or gumboots. If you enjoy the Chelsea Garden be sure to also check out the nearby Pirianda Gardens, also managed by Parks Victoria.