On Tuesday the 14th of April the Friends of Williamstown Botanic Gardens paid a visit to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens. There were 7 of us in total.
The day was overcast but a very comfortable temperature, looked like rain but it managed to stay fine for the day. We set off from Williamstown around 8.30 and caught the 9.20 train to Bendigo - a great way to go. It was a very comfortable trip, and a chance to have a good natter and enjoy the scenery.
We arrived at Bendigo at 11.20 and from there caught a Maxi Taxi out to White Hills where the Botanic Gardens are. They are officially called the White Hills Botanic Gardens.
There we were met by Jan Cleary who is the President of the Friends of Bendigo Botanic Gardens. We entered the Arch of Triumph and wandered down the extensive drive way to the meeting/work rooms for the gardens.
First we had a cuppa. Jan had made a chocolate cake for us which Jan’s assistants said is most famous, and it was scrumptious. We all had a good chat and talked about the history of the gardens and a looked at few photographs of its beginnings
The Gardens were established in 1857, and, in 2007, celebrated their 150 years. The gardens have changed over the years with salinity causing the death of many trees. It originally had many flower beds, but due to the decline over the years many of the garden beds have been converted into lawn areas.
The gardens have a water area called the lagoon. This is originally where the Bendigo creek ran through the gardens but it has been filled in over time. The area is enjoyed by the waterbirds which inhabit it and is a tranquil quiet spot to relax. The Gardens are very different from our gardens, not as formal but beautiful and graceful – a lovely place for families to enjoy.
After morning tea we had a wander around the whole of garden, Jan gave us a most informative talk about the trees and stories of fame attached to them. There are eight significant and rare trees and these have been listed by the Heritage Council.
From the earliest days the gardens have contained animal exhibits. This practice was encouraged by the Acclimatisation Society with the aim of introducing exotic plants and animals, primarily for the dispersion to suitable parts of the colony. The animal exhibits were popular with children. Appropriate management of the exhibits is an ongoing issue.
The gardens also encompass a swimming pool which was established in 1956. This is still used by the local community today.
The Friends group is very active and their propagating area is something to die for. It is like a commercial nursery and I’m sure they do well from the sales of these.
After our tour of the gardens we all set out for lunch at a nearby café. Jan also joined us for this and we enjoyed her company and her extensive knowledge of all things botanical.
From here it was a taxi back to the station and a train trip back to Footscray. All in all it was a great day and enjoyed by everyone and the gardens are well worth a visit.
The lagoon at White Hills Botanic Gardens, Bendigo
Our Friends on their visit to the White Hills Botanic Gardens, Bendigo
Jan Cleary leading the tour of White Hills Botanic Gardens for Friends of WBG
Someone lives here?
So what's happening in Williamstown Botanic Garden this month?
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