Gardening appeal to grow with Begonia Festival

THIS year’s Begonia Festival will continue to develop Ballarat’s reputation as a garden city, with an exciting program of events and two celebrity gardeners set to feature at the March event.

During the event’s official launch, staged aboard the Begonia Princess on Lake Wendouree yesterday, Ballarat City Council Deputy Mayor Samantha McIntosh said it would be the 61st Ballarat Begonia Festival and the event had a long and proud history in the community. She said after a difficult period of drought, 28,000 people had attended the festival in 2012, making it one of Victoria’s largest events.

“Since 2010 the numbers have doubled so it certainly shows we’re doing a good job,” she said.

“The program seems to be growing every year.”

The 2013 festival, to be staged March 9-11, will see celebrity gardeners Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia) and Melissa King (Garden Gurus) lend their expertise to the crowds. There will also be tribute shows, garden tours, art, craft and floral displays, a petting farm and a home grown vegetable competition. 

This year’s Courier Begonia Parade has a fairytales theme and will be brought to life by the community.