Gardens a tourism drawcard

Friends of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Macedon Ranges’ gardens have great tourism potential to be further unlocked, says Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show chairman Michael Warner.

Making the move to Kyneton, Mr Warner is excited about the region’s natural beauty and possibilities it has to offer on many levels.

He has more than 40 years’ experience in the horticulture industry and is behind long-standing wholesale supplier Warners Nurseries.

As one of the newest members of Friends of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, he is hoping to help reinvigorate interest in local gardens.

“I see the botanic gardens as the cornerstone of what could be an overall garden tourism strategy for the Macedon Ranges,” he told the Express.

“As the friends group, members are cognisant of our role with the botanic gardens but there is a real feeling in the group that this could be an opportunity for the whole of the shire.

“Gardens are a real attraction right across the Macedon Ranges – there are many private gardens, community gardens and of course the three botanical gardens.

“The Macedon Ranges has quite a unique climate and it’s so close to Melbourne. We’ve really got to promote what the Ranges has to offer.”

Mr Warner hosted a group of Friends of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens on a personal tour of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show last month.

Melbourne’s Flower and Garden Show provided plenty of talking points and inspiration for what could be achieved at a local level as the friends group prepares to re-launch.

FriendsKBG provides volunteer and financial support for projects and events in the Kyneton Botanic Gardens and plays an integral role in promoting, developing and maintaining the gardens.

The group has a largely new committee of office bearers and members who have worked enthusiastically over recent months to develop a new strategic plan.

They have met with key Macedon Ranges Shire Council staff to establish a collaborative working arrangement and plan for the gardens, re-developed the website and branding, and significantly increased membership numbers.

Several Friends Gardening Group working bees have been held in the gardens this year, together with MRSC staff, and are planned monthly for the remainder of the year.

FriendsKBG will have a stand/booth at the Kyneton Horticultural Flower Show in April. Other upcoming events for the group include a member’s day in May and Spring Garden Party later in the year.

For details about the group visit the website: