Thursday, 19 September 2013


The "Lilydale Express" on Friday 19th July 1901 published an article “Chandlers I have Met” written by M.A.C.  It is a delightful article on the family and it left me feeling privileged to have known the late John Chandler.

I have in my possession John’s autobiography which has given me a greater insight.  One of the many things mentioned in the article was about the plant Boronia, and I now quote “The flower season is a busy one for Mr Chandler (William) as maybe judged when it is known that 35,000 bunches of Boronia have to be marketed and dispatched to all principal towns of the state, but in this department he is ably assisted by the younger members of the family” unquote.

John Chandler regaled me with the stories of picking and bunching the Boronia up into posies, there was no electricity connected so lamps and candles were used as they worked into the night.  John told me the Boronias seeds planted at Como came from a relative holidaying in Western Australia, they are not native to Victoria.  The growing seasons for the plants ended when they became affected by a virus, but not before the Chandlers had bred new plants.

It was with great pleasure on visiting the second stage of the Botanical Gardens at Cranbourne that I saw planted one of the Chandlers Boronia, the name lives on - what a wonderful achievement.

I could talk about Como Gardens forever, why not came along to our next Open Weekend 19th and 20th of October;  we will have a lot of fun?  

Join the garden tours and hear stories of days gone by whilst supporting our SES and St John Ambulance.

....© 2013 Pat Hetrel, Como Gardens, The Basin, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Well, someone has to do it!

It's a lot of hard work maintaining the grounds at Como Gardens, so occasionally George has to take "time out".   A quick trip to Townsville was the answer.

This is what he got up to (literally!) during his recent trip to Townsville.

Now he should be refreshed and ready to get down to the hard yakka in ensuring Como Gardens are neat and in full bloom, ready for the carloads of visitors to the Open Garden Weekend coming up on 19th and 20th October 2013.

Put that weekend in your diary.  Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October.   

Monday, 5 August 2013


The Answer:

The long track Winton Historic race meeting on August 10th & 11th.  Winton Motor Raceway is a 3.0 km circuit in National configuration and a 2.03 km circuit in Club configuration located near Benalla, just off the Hume Highway.

It is the fourth year of this successful event and the first time George Hetrel has entered his 1927 Grand Prix Bugatti. The car has been well primed and given a good talking to;  don’t know who’s the most excited and rearing to go - George or the bug. 

Come and say hello, we are at the Penrite Teams garage. Looking forward to a chat with you.

Thursday, 6 June 2013


The Japanese tea garden we are making is starting to take shape; we wish there was a thing as instant moss!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


It has been a beautiful Autumn if not a little dry, the cold nights helped turn the leaves into beautiful colours the best for many a long year.

We at Como are starting to put the garden to bed for a while.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


16th to 22nd March 2013

The RACV Fly The Flag Tour 

Contact:   Tony Pettigrew (03) 9739 1146.    An ABCCC Major Event. Touring Australia 

Itinerary:   Starts at York On Lilydale for trip to Shepparton, then on to Wagga Wagga for a two night stay. The tour then motors on to Wodonga, followed by two nights at Mansfield.    (Fully Booked).

George and Pat Hetrel of Como Gardens will be driving the Aston Martin DBS.

For those not taking part in the Tour, the club invite you to take your British classic car, with a folding chair, flag and refreshment pack to viewing point along the Tour’s route. The cavalcade of historic motoring can be watched.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


The Family Day to be held on the 17th February will highlight a number of events which will appeal to all families and with special events for the children.

One spectacular event will be some examples from the Blue Lotus Watergardens, of waterlilies and lotus, including the world's largest waterlily - the Amazon Lily Pad.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Preparing for Family Day 2013

A lot of preparation is going into the Family Day at Como Gardens, to be held on the 17th February in the beautiful grounds at The Basin.

Many activities for children as well as adults will keep everyone entertained - whatever their interests may be.   For instance, the Working Display Vintage Car Museum; Blue Gardens Watergardens Display and Japanese Drumming will astound all visitors, while the Puppeteer and the Rainforest Walk and the Teddy Bears Picnic will attract children.     Sausage Sizzle and Devonshire Teas and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Rainy Day Books in The Basin has already set up their window display highlighting the art of Ikebena.    Rainy Day Books will have their own stall again this year.

Horticulture Ferns and Orchids will also be for sale at the Como Gardens Family Day on the 17th February, 10 a.m. through to 4.30 p.m.

(All photographs covered by copyright - RP-B)

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Last September, the rains in the Dandenongs caused a great deal of damage to Como gardens infrastructure, especially of the Railway and Bridge.   This meant that Como Gardens had to cancel their Open Day and commence work on repairing the line and bridge in readiness for the New Year.

Much toil has gone into this work and these photos show some of the work undertaken.

This is the great result.