Living gallery of trees opens to the public

November 16, 2023 BY

Frogwood Arboretum is as large as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A BOTANIC garden celebrating the remarkable trees of the world will open to the public for one day this month.

Frogwood Arboretum sits on 100 acres – the same sized space as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne – and showcases almost 200 different species of trees, from the famous Morton Bay fig to the humble apple tree.

Designer James Maund said determining the great trees of the world is “pretty open to interpretation”.

“For me, if they’ve been used in human history extensively, or if they’re widely considered to be beautiful, say magnolia or maple trees in autumn, or if they’ve got a cultural, spiritual meaning, a symbolic meaning, then those put them into the categories of great trees of the world.”

Each tree species has been intentionally planted in groves of varying sizes with the aim of creating a series of unique, mini environments throughout the arboretum.

“When one sees these trees and how long they can live and how big they can get, it really gives a different sense of time to what we’re so used to now where everything speeds up. It’s like McDonalds time,” Maund said.

“Here’s a chance to slow down and get a different perspective.”

At present, planting in the arboretum is about 95 per cent complete. When planting has finished, the property will house more than 3,000 trees spanning 200 different species. Photos: SUPPLIED


The arboretum also includes a “neolithic” rock henge and a large rock, called Pointer Rock, directing visitors toward Uluru, along with several other visual features referencing important design elements throughout history.

An architect by trade, Maund purchased the property in 2007.Through meticulous planning and design, he has since transformed the pre-existing dairy farm into what he calls, a living gallery of trees.

He has also rehabilitated the one kilometre stretch of the Deans Marsh Creek that runs through the property.

“I’d always thought that we live in a very fortunate time, most Australians – not all but many – and that that’s been the result of many previous generations and the sacrifices they’ve made for us to live the life we do,” Maund said.

“I thought this was a way I could say thank you in the most attractive, long-lasting way possible.”

Maund said the long-term aim was for the public to have as much access to the arboretum as possible, but there was work to be done before this would become possible.

Designer, James Maund, searched for two years to find the right location to create Frogwood Arboretum. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


“The open days just give the opportunity for people to come and see how it’s developing and see the trees.

“I’m pretty excited to get this one happening again, and it’s been just a perfect growing season for the trees.

“It’s just a day out that you can’t really do anywhere else.”

Frogwood Arboretum is located at 12 Deans Marsh-Lorne Road, Deans Marsh.

The open day is on this Sunday, November 19, between 11am and 4pm.

Picnic lunches and dogs on leads are welcome. Practical shoes are recommended.

For more information, head to frogwood.com.au

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