Ashcombe Maze is home to acres of Woodland Gardens with numerous features: the Orchard, the Pot Garden, the Rock Garden, the Summer Garden, the Scented Garden, the Herb Barrels, the Small Woodland, the Lower Woodland, the Centre Garden, the Lily Pond, the Apple Grove, the Koala Food Trees, the Windmill, Seven Tiers Waterfall, Lake Ashcombe.
The Ashcombe Garden Discovery Trail is a self-guided tour that explores kilometers of meandering gardens all marked with signs offering background and educational information.
At the entrance of the Rock Garden is a stand of rare giant geraniums; geranium maderense that can reach close to 2-metres in height whilst in flower. Near the Driftwood Hut you will find a truly ancient plant in the form of the Woolamai Pine – a remnant from the Age of the Dinosaurs. This variety was once thought to be extinct and has the same leaves as the Cycad.
Above the top pond is a mature specimen of the Strangler Fig, Ficus macrophylla, usupported with a spreading canopy and along the fence line, near the sculpture by Brian Paulusz, are the ancient Cuppresus macrocarpa, planted over 100 years ago with a width of over 1-metre. Eucalyptus citriodora (the lemon scented gum) borders the bottom of the Rock Garden.
The lower woodland gardens mostly comprise of Ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa), Oak, Beech, Birch, Maple, Cedar and Cypress, while the the deciduous Swamp Cypress runs along the top of the lake. Its colour changes from green to copper in autumn.
Near the Ashcombe Café is a rare avenue of mature elms, now extinct in the Northern Hemsiphere because of the Dutch elm disease. Also in the area is the remains of an old world garden featuring drifts of hellebore’s commonly known as the Lenten Rose; and 2 large specimens of the brachychiton commonly known as the Flame Tree – it is unusual to see these trees this far south.
The Ashcombe Arboretum features unusual trees such as Japanese Cedar, Maidenhair Trees, Deodar Pines, Paulownia, and Tulip Trees to name a few. Two types of Sequoia including the lesser known variety from Nevada; Sequoia Gigantum are showcased alongside Australian Tree Ferns, Silky Oaks and Lemon Scented Gums.
The picturesque lake at the base of the property is fed by natural springs and is the source for the meandering stream and numerous water features throughout the property. Using Wind Power, the windmill (a real Australian icon) pumps the water from the lake up to the pond at the headwaters of the stream. The water then flows down the stream through the ponds and fountains scattered throughout the garden and back to the lake. Recycling at its best.
The Mornington Peninsula has a lovely mild climate and no frost, and Shoreham has deep red clay soil that is ideal for growing orchards and large trees. The Autumn foliage is truly beautiful and we have under planted our large woodland with more than a million winter flowering bluebells, along with daffodils for a Spring Show.