THERE'S more to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens than simply flowers and trees. Here are four ways to properly explore all that this local gem has to offer.
BotaniKIDS was established in a bid to support and encourage the little tikes and their parents to explore, enjoy, appreciate and learn about the gardens. The group uses the natural beauty and cultural aspects of the gardens precinct to provide an engaging array of opportunities. Watch the kids get their hands dirty collecting acorns, cones, leaves and sticks and bringing them to life through arts and crafts, or sit back and enjoy some coffee and cake as the children explore the natural beauty of garden life through storytelling, nature walks and song.
Behind the Robert Clark Horticultural Centre you'll find the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Nursery, which is open every Tuesday and second Sunday of the month between 1pm and 4pm. Facilitated by the Growing Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, the nursery houses a huge selection of plants for purchase as well as an abundance of advice, support and knowledge for budding and experienced gardeners.
This is the best way to truly experience the wonder and glory of the Botanical Gardens. Conducted by the Guiding Friends of the Botanical Gardens, the tours provide you with insights and knowledge into the history of the precinct while showcasing some of the gardens' most-loved sites, including the marble statues, heritage trees, garden beds, and the famous Prime Minister Avenue. The tours take place at 11am on Sundays during autumn and spring.
Delve further into the gardens' past thanks to the History Friends of the Botanical Gardens efforts to bring the knowledge of yesteryear to the fore. The friends have several major collections of documents, photos and books as well as a range of other archival material which form the basis of regular exhibitions and publications.
The 2019 Ballarat Begonia Festival will be held at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens on March 9-11.