Forest Therapy is a different way of spending time in natural environments, particularly forests. The practice emphasises slowing down, engaging all your senses, and becoming present to nature. This health practice originated in Japan in the 1980s in response to rapid urbanisation which resulted in stress-related health problems. The term “shinrin-yoku”, which literally translates to “forest bathing”, was coined by the Japanese government to promote the regular practice of immersing oneself in nature for relaxation and wellbeing.
Many other countries, including Australia, Canada, USA, China, South Korea, and Germany are embracing this practice. That’s because over 200 research studies have shown Forest Therapy, a series of structured, mindful activities led by a trained guide, has health-promoting benefits. After a Forest Therapy walk, your blood pressure or cortisol level may be lower, or you may sleep better. You may feel calmer, or more energised. Natural chemicals emitted from trees boost your immune system.
Dr Liz Cyarto, a Hobsons Bay resident, wellbeing expert and certified Forest Therapy guide, is offering free walks in WBG (and also Newport Lakes Reserve) for community members 55+. These are possible thanks to Council's Make it Happen Grant program - Healthy Ageing stream (auspiced by Outlets Co-operative Neighbourhood House).
Places are limited, so call Dr Liz on 0481977970 now to secure your spot on the date you want. You can also email your request to email@example.com. Not 55+? You're welcome to join us if we have spots available.
BGANZ Day is celebrated all over Australia and New Zealand and our Garden will feature displays, talks and refreshments (for a gold coin donation). Come along and meet our curator who will introduce you to the gardens at 12.00pm.
While you're visiting our gardens:
• enjoy the flowering plants and autumn leaves
• explore the nature table with your children
• read a book to your child in the book corner
• meet the Friends of Willy Botanic Gardens whilst enjoying a cuppa
• learn about the history of the gardens
• take your children on a plant challenge #plantchallenge
Are you visiting our gardens on BGANZ Day?
BGANZ Day is celebrated in all botanic gardens across Australia and New Zealand including our own Williamstown Botanic Gardens. We are planning to set up some information about the gardens, refreshments (home-cooked muffins with tea and coffee), nature table and provide a sample Nature Journaling activity.
We would welcome volunteers to assist on the day, chatting to visitors about the gardens and offering refreshments from 11am to 2pm. It will be lovely to see you there!
So much is happening in the gardens with Spring around the corner. The daffodils have emerged, the Pinetum hedge has been planted, the labels are appearing and further tree plantings are planned when restrictions allow. In this newsletter, we discover a remarkable curator from the past and learn about visitors who are presently enjoying a bounty of pine cones!
With the appointment of our Head Gardener and a new Horticulturist, we're pleased to report that there's a lot of progress happening in the gardens. We will introduce our new garden staff in the next newsletter.
New plants have arrived and are ready to go in the ground! There are three areas of focus being the perennial plants near the gates, hedging along the boundary of the Pinetum and coastal plants to echo the planting along the Esplanade. Many plantings will be fenced with security to ensure they can establish without disruption.
New labels for our significant trees and plants will be appearing (more details below). When the plantings and labeling are finished, there are plans to conduct garden tours for interested Friends and members of the public when safe to do so.
Visitors to the Gardens can expect to see plant labels going into the ground in the coming weeks. The labels will be around the pond, in the main path and on the open air bandstand. Tree labels throughout the gardens will be installed in September. More soon!
A big thank you to Loraine Callow, Program Development Officer, for bringing the labelling project into fruition!
There is much shredding of pine cones going on in the Gardens! The big Canary Island, Pinus canariensis near the office and machinery shed is a favourite snack bar at the moment as well as the Pinus halepensis and Pinus Pineacea in the Pinetum. Read more about our visitors here.
(Photo courtesy: Ian Rae)
Garden treasures are not always about plants but the people who worked and cared for the gardens in the past. Below is a photograph taken in 1912 of curator, Bill Crowe (right) with Harry Stitt with their prize roses. (Photo courtesy: Eileen Schelleman and Carl Tracey). Click on the time portal to learn more about the influence that Bill Crowe had upon the design and upkeep of our gardens.
Thank you to Jill Hocking who researched this article as part of her work with the Trove Team. If you'd like to join in and help correct articles about the gardens in the National Library digitised collection (Trove) contact Loraine.
The Alfred Clark Statue
This year the Alfred Thomas Clark statue celebrates 130 years of watching over the Williamstown Botanic Gardens. Surrounded by mature Moreton Bay figs (Ficus macrophylla) and situated in the centre of the gardens, the statue carved in Carrara marble by Enrico Lucchinelli, was unveiled at a public ceremony on Saturday 25th July, 1891 in front of a crowd of 300 people. The event was widely reported in papers of the day noting that Mr Clark was a well-respected businessman and politician.
The work was sculpted in Italy from a photograph and funded through public subscription.
Mr Clark (1845-1888) served as the representative for Williamstown in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria from 1871 to 1887 and founded the Williamstown Advertiser newspaper in 1874. Alfred T Clark died in 1888 at sea aboard R.M.S Oceana, near Colombo on his way to England.
The statue was restored by an expert conservator in 2007 to repair and replace parts of the statue that incurred damage over the years and the surrounding fence was reinstated using photographic evidence and helped by the discovery of the location of remnants of the original fence posts still in the soil.
2021/2022 Membership Fees
A gentle reminder that your membership fees are now due.
You can pay with direct debit (please place your surname in the description) or at our AGM.
Stay Safe and Connected
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The Friends will be conducting a Plant Stall in the foyer of Coles Williamstown on Saturday 9th November from 9am until 1pm. Why not stock up on some nice gardening gifts for Christmas or treat your own garden to something new!
Celebrated every May across Australia and New Zealand, Botanic Gardens Day is an invitation to rug up and visit your favourite botanic garden this autumn. Join us at Williamstown Botanic Garden for free activities on Sunday, 26 May 2019, 11.00am to 3.00pm.
Get up to date with works planned for the gardens in a chat with WBG Curator, Shelley Wood.
Explore the Gardens on a Postcard Tour. Learn about the early 1900’s craze for postcard sending and collecting and discover what these images and messages can tell us about the gardens.
The Amazing Case of Dr Ward and Other Stories
Enjoy a botanic story with acclaimed, local storytellers Jackie Kerin and Sarah Depasquale. Join us as they take us back in time with the Amazing Case of Dr Ward and Other Stories” to meet a curious fellow who created an invention that changed the world!
Nature, Reading, Art and a Cuppa
Discover our nature table, get cosy in our reading corner or get creative making your own collage garden art. Relax and enjoy a cuppa and chat with the Friends of Williamstown Botanic Gardens (us!)
Momentum is gathering for our Paint the Gardens Art Competition which will be held on Sunday 28th April and we've organised a delightful day for all to enjoy with entertainment, refreshments and activities for children.
We'd like to remind potential artists that the closing date for registering your artwork is 22nd April and we hope that you or your artistic friends have the opportunity to be involved. Please share!
First Prize: $500
Highly Commended: $150 + $50 voucher
People's Choice: $150 + $50 voucher
First Prize: $150
2 x Highly Commended: $50 voucher(s)
TO ENTER: Please check our Conditions for Entry and contact us with the following information:
Name, email, contact number, title, size, medium and if you can supply an easel on the day.
We look forward to seeing your entry!
So what's happening in Williamstown Botanic Garden this month?
Follow this link to our photos on Flickr