Located in the grounds of Eastern Park is the delightful oasis that is the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Both the Park and Gardens are only a short walk or drive from the Central Business District of Geelong.
A visit to Eastern Beach or the Bollards Walk brings visitors close to Eastern Park. There are picnic areas, barbecues, playgrounds and lots of open space at Eastern Park. And in the midst of all this open space is the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
History of the Eastern Park and Geelong Botanic Gardens
In 1851, the Government set aside land for the development of a Botanic Garden, at the edge of the Geelong settlement.
The site of 200 acres, with bay frontage, and not much vegetation, has been transformed during the last 150 years into the Eastern Park and the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
Both Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park have been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park are also included on the Register or the National Estate as they are an example of 19th Century Victorian Botanic Gardens.
The trees in the Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park are some of the finest trees in Victoria. 36 trees are listed on the National Trust of Australia - Victoria - Register of Significant Trees.
Howzat! I have lived in Geelong all my life, and visited the Geelong Botanic Gardens numerous times, and I never knew we had Heritage listed trees in Eastern Park and the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
Highlights of the Geelong Botanic Gardens
Some of the special items to view, admire, smell, photograph are - the Silver Borders, the Heritage Roses (in spring), the Pelargonium and Geranium collections, and many other plant varieties.
Pelargoniums and Geraniums
Pelargoniums and Geraniums have been grown in the Geelong Botanic Gardens for a long time, with the plants used as bordens and shrub beds.
In 1972 a conservatory was constructed to house the pelargoniums and geraniums. The name of the conservatory was Florence E Clarke Geranium Conservatory.
Today the Conservatory is known as the Pelargonium House. Pelargonium House displays more than 200 different varieties of Pelargoniums and Geraniums.
Garden beds surrounding the Pelargonium House have been re-designed to represent the rocky, undulating terrain of South Africa. Most of the Geraniaceae family plants originated from South Africa.
Events at Geelong Botanic Gardens
Among the many things on offer at the Geelong Botanic Gardens are:
Monthly Garden Highlights - featuring plants of particular interest.
Free Guided Walks - Wednesdays at 11.00am and Sundays at 2.00pm, weather permitting. You can meet Volunteer Guides on the front steps of the Botanic Gardens.
On Sundays during summer, there is a Discovery Table, with a Guide available to speak about the selected plants, flowers and fruits on display.
Monthly Discovery Walks promote stories of the Gardens. The 2015 Discovery Walk Program details are available on the Geelong Botanic Gardens website. Join one of these walks and pay a gold coin donation to the Volunteer Guide.
As I write this Weekend Notes page, I find myself being tempted to join some of these activities. I really wasn't aware that there was so much going on at the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
You can request to organise Group Bookings. Illustrated talks about the Gardens can be organised for community groups. Self guided walks are also available.
I could go on and on, listing more about the Heritage Tree Walk, the Last Dragon picture trail and more. Head on down to the Geelong Botanic Gardens, and take a few photos and post them here with comments about your favourite part, plant or tree.
Check out the Geelong Botanic Gardens web site for more information about upcoming events, walks, and also for information about plant sales and the Friends of the Botanic Gardens.
Geelong Botanic Gardens has a lovely tea house within its grounds. There is a group of volunteers who meet regularly and who organise events called Friends of Botanic Gardens. There are regular plant sales organised by Friends of Botanic Gardens.
Come and explore, relax and enjoy the calm and serenity. Welcome to Geelong and to our beautiful Botanic Gardens. Enjoy and stimulate your senses.