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As a teenager I was captivated by the story of the visionary Jenny Butchart, who dreamt of making a sunken garden in the empty limestone quarry in her backyard in 1904. Today the entrancing Butchart Gardens, has grown in beauty, scope and status, attracting millions of visitors each year to Vancouver Island, Canada.

I would look wistfully at used quarries around Melbourne, and think, ‘if only’.

Now in my troisiéme age, the opportunity to create something of beauty for the community and Mother Earth has arisen on my backdoor.

My family is now in its 5th generation of farming in the Wollert/Mernda area, and we bought a most abused property next door. Not only was it flooded with illegal detritus, it had also become a forest of very noxious weeds and vermin. With much hard work, this mismanagement has been cleared up, and now we have the chance to create an Arboretum, rich in beauty, with benefits to the community, the environment and to increased knowledge of native flora and fauna.

With the help of Taylor, Lethlean, Cullity, TCL, the landscape architects behind the National Arboretum in Canberra and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne, my Butchart Garden Vision is coming to life. A Parkland of Native Trees, shrubs and grasses is to be planted, with the wondrous giants, the River Red Gums, keeping guard. The ephemeral Darebin Creek wanders through this land, and will be an enchanting waterway to walk along.

So come and join the Melbourne Arboretum team in this journey. Not only will you be helping the environment, you will be part of a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to save a sizeable block of land from the flood of suburbia. You will be creating something unique for the community for now and for many years to come, just as Jenny Butchart did for Vancouver Island.


Butchart Gardens - ( )

TCL - ( )

National Arboretum in Canberra - ( )

Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne - ( )

JULY 2, 2019

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