Ballarat Botanical Gardens 150th Anniversary

Ballarat Botanical Gardens 150th Anniversary

In 2007 the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of Ballarat Botanical Gardens was celebrated with special events and displays. A highlight was the first viewing of the 1858 designs for the gardens restored with a grant from Heritage Victoria.

The Friends enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Robert Clark Conservatory by night followed by a short stroll past a re-creation of Longley's tent site to dinner at Piper's on the Parade. Guest of honour was Carolyn Jones, a gr gr grandaughter of the first gardener Mr George Longley. A calendar and sets of gift cards of the Stoddart statues was launched by former curator Ian Rossiter at the dinner on the 27th of July 2007.

To transport visitors to the gardens a vintage tram was decorated in bright begonia colours by school students. This occasion was used to launch sets of gift cards of the Stoddart Statues.

The History Group of the Friends produced large display panels of historical images and text which were exhibited in the Robert Clark Conservatory.

Celebrating 150 Years of Growing History: Ballarat Botanical Gardens 1857-2007

  • Amusements - birds and animals in the menagerie/zoo, swing boats and the maze
  • Begonias - from exhibitions by Geo Longley in the 1870s to Begonia Festivals from the 1950s
  • Cameo of a Benefactor - their generous gifts beginning with the Stoddart statues in 1884
  • The Changing Role of the Curator - photos of nine curators from 1857 to the present day
  • Development - the acquisition of plants and seeds from a world-wide network of growers
  • The Fernery - from the gabled 'Gothic fantasy' of the 1880s to the present fernery built in 1955
  • Functions - such as Sunday School and staff picnics and events at the Sound Shell
  • Machinery and Workmen - so labour intensive with only manpower and horsepower for the first half century