Pirianda Garden is an 11 heactare beautiful woodland garden containing a unique collection of plants including many trees which are botanically significant and considered rare in cultivation in Australia. Unusual trees and shrubs blend harmoniously with ferns and the impressive Blackwoods and Mountain Ash provide shady over storey as you walk through the garden to the terraces and peaceful fern gully below.
Designed to take advantage of the steep slopes, the terraced gardens of Pirianda are distinctive for their combination of botanically important trees, shrubs and perennials with an over storey of large blackwoods and mountain ash towering over the natural fern gullies.
The garden is particularly beautiful in autumn when the trees change colour to the many hues of orange, red and yellow.
Enjoy magnificent views and tranquil walks, bird watching, photography and picnicking on the lawns at Pirianda Gardens.
Things to see and do - As you enter the garden, you will pass through a grassy area containing many northern hemisphere trees rarely cultivated in Australia. Below this top terrace the bog garden leads past finely terraced walls built from local stone during the Ansellís time. At the base of the garden, the natural fern gully is dominated by Blackwoods and Soft and Rough Tree Ferns, providing a shady haven during summer.
Collections - Pirianda Garden features such delights as 28 different types of maples and 13 birch varieties. Collections of magnolias,eucryphias, rhododendrons, clethra, styrax, pieris, viburnums and many conifers can also be seen. Three specimens of the unusual and haunting Chinese Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrate) are located here. They flower annually in early November. The large bracts are up to 12cm long, pure white and conspicuous when waving in the wind. The sight of these trees in flower is reason enough to visit Pirianda Garden. Other unusual plants include members of the aceae plant family, Franklinia spp and Stewartia spp which are both attractive and rarely seen specimen plants. Both species have delicate and beautiful flowers and are related to the better known camellias. Pirianda Garden features beautiful spring displays but is renowned for its unsurpassed autumn colours and its fine tree collections.
Seasonal highlights Spring: rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, camellias, dogwoods, Dove Tree and spring bulbs. Summer: Mock Orange, Eucryphia, Clethra, Hydrangeas and NSW Christmas bush. Autumn: Spectacular autumn foliage colours of a wide variety of exotic trees and shrubs, including the unusual sight of Franklinia alatamaha which flowers on leafless branches. Winter: Luculia, Witch Hazel, camellias and early rhododendrons.
The garden is one of the lesser known gardens in the Dandenongs and provides a lovely area to visit, especially in Autumn when so many of the trees have glorious colours.
Access along Hacketts Road is much easier from the Olinda - Monbulk Road to the east. Access from Kallista on the west side via Perrrins Creek Road is scary and treacherous when the gravel road is wet in a non four wheel drive vehicle. Hacketts Road is steep and rutted at this end.
The Gardens have toilets, a shelter with seating, water tap and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view. There are extensive paths winding back and forth across the steep hill. There are some amazing looking trees to find and in Autumn we saw some spectacular red and white toadstools. Even though they look like something out of a fairy story, please be careful with kids because they are very poisonous.
An element of the gardens we found very helpful were the labels on all the trees and bushes with the name and place of origin.
This is a place which you could easily come back to in the different seasons and see interesting plants and trees.