Heritage Hill's Gardens
The gardens of Heritage Hill are a part of Dandenong’s history. As well as providing attractive settings for the historic buildings they help us understand how people in the past related to their environment.
The gardens of Laurel Lodge, Benga and St James' Church are all quite different, reflecting the desires of their creators and the diverse uses to which they were put.
Domestic gardens have been an important feature of Australian life since European settlement, both as a source of food and as a place of beauty and recreation. In country towns house blocks of one acre allowed plenty of room for large trees, a vegetable plot, fruit trees, a poultry run and perhaps a cow or horse. It was also fashionable to have large garden beds full of flowers to produce a ‘show’ of massed annuals and perennials.
The Benga Garden was designed and tended to by Mrs Hart for over 50 years. It exists today as an exceptional representation of 1930s garden design with its compartmentalised areas, ornamental trees and shrubs, a formal rose garden, perennial garden beds within expanses of lawn, formally designed paths, a pergola and a sun dial.
The garden has not been significantly altered since the 1930s and is a noteworthy survival of a garden reflecting the period of its creation, designed and maintained by an enthusiastic amateur gardener.