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  • RBG

A Summer Spectacle – Discover the Perennial Border

The Perennial Border is a seasonal must-see at Melbourne Gardens! Flowering throughout spring and summer, it boasts beautiful contrasting colours and textures, designed for a bold contemporary display of beautiful blooms.  

You'll find the Perennial Border west of Princes Lawn, framing a picturesque view of Gardens House. It's comprised of large drifts of perennials interspersed with sculptural ornamental plants, forming a unique and beautiful garden with a display for ten months of the year. 

The peak of flowering is in late summer, but a bold range of autumn and winter-blooming plants form focal points in the border all year round. This contrasts with traditional perennial borders that may have a peak display period of only a month or so.

The fairytale-esque building sitting prettily behind the Perennial Border was constructed in 1856 and was the home of Gardens' Directors from 1856 until 1991. After the residence was vacated in 1991, the buildings and grounds were refurbished as an elegant venue for corporate and private functions and it took on the name of Gardens House.

During the 1860s, Baron Ferdinand von Mueller (Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne from 1857 to 1873), planted an extensive 'system garden' in the area of the current Perennial Border. In system gardens, plants are typically grouped according to their botanical classification to assist people in studying plant relationships.

Today's Perennial Border display features warm sunset hues scattered with blues and violets, and is a bee's paradise when in bloom! 

The variation in colour, texture and form of the flowers and foliage creates striking contrasts within the garden. Grey foliage plants act as a 'foil' to soften the brighter colours and augment the pale colours. The hedge plant, Chilean Myrtle (Luma apiculata), provides a curving backdrop to complement the design.

Make sure to stop by the Perennial Border on your next visit to Melbourne Gardens. It's a wonderful garden to observe year-round, but it is particularly fascinating to witness the rapid growth during spring and the remarkable mass of flowers on show in summer.


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