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  • Writer's pictureVicki Walsh

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

I ventured out this afternoon to the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden, it was a cold and wet but armed with a large golf umbrella I was hoping to capture some Autumn magic.. The Autumn colours were starting to come through and despite a few showers there were still lots of visitors exploring these magnificent gardens.

Located on Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges, the Burnham Beeches Estate is home to the stunning and highly regarded Alfred Nicholas Gardens.

The Alfred Nicholas Gardens are known for their picturesque waterfalls, water features and its iconic ornamental lake and boathouse.

Alfred Nicholas and his brother George developed the Aspro painkiller formula, becoming the first to officially patent the formula after it was lost from general use after the First World War. He purchased the land in 1929 and proceeded to purchase subsequent land around it, extending the size of the property to 13 acres. The Burnham Beeches Estate is an Art Deco masterpiece, designed for Nicholas in the early thirties, and is somewhat likened to the lines of an ocean liner.

Nicholas traveled to many parts of Victoria and overseas to look for established trees to populate his gardens, designing it with a lake, rock pools, and ornamental designs. He hired an expert gardener to help with the creation of his prized garden.

The gardens were not finished before his death in 1937, although the majority of the planting had been finished. This then left his widow alone to look after the property, resulting in the garden falling into a state of deterioration.

The gardens itself are now owned and operated by Parks Victoria. Significant restorations were undertaken in the late 1990s, transforming and recreating the spectacular location that has become the Alfred Nicholas gardens that we know today.

Throughout the garden there is a blend of native and exotic trees including mountain ash, ginkgoes, maples and liquid ambers. Colour is provided throughout the year by a variety of flowering exotic shrubs, bulbs and trees.

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