HAVE you ever wondered what helps make The Old Curiosity Shop so curious?
Then head along to Ballarat Gardens in Spring from Friday until Sunday, with the unique Ballarat East building’s garden one of the highlights.
Owner Brigitte Chitryk-Goss has combined old-fashioned cottage plants with her own artistic flair, creating a garden filled with curiosities and artefacts at every turn.
Built in 1855, the Queen Street South home was originally established as one of the first tourist attractions in Australia.
Bursting with mosaic flare and decorations that capture the imagination, the garden will be open to the public for only the third time in the past 14 years.
Owner Ms Chitryk-Goss said it was a fascinating garden – and house – that was unique.
“I don’t think you’ll find another example of a house this old anywhere,” she said.
“It’s a very special thing for Ballarat to have not just a garden like this, but great gardens all throughout the city.”
The sixth annual Ballarat Gardens in Spring, organised by the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, includes a speaker’s lunch on Friday, featuring talks by leading landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw, horticultural therapist and gardener designer Steven Wells
and garden writer Christine Reid.
The theme for this year’s event is the importance of open spaces and gardens.
Other gardens on display on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm are at 15 Maxlyn Avenue, Ballarat East, 74 Stirling Drive, Lake Gardens, and the historic “Artes” at 608A Neill Street, Soldiers Hill.
The Ballarat Specialist School gardens will also be open, with the vegetation used to create interactive play spaces while also being emotionally and intellectually stimulating for the students.
Botanical-related events also on in Ballarat include a Great Big Gardens Play Day for children today at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, guided tours of the gardens on Saturday and Sunday (leaving the Robert Clark Conservatory 1am), plant sales near the conservatory on Sunday and a garden visit to “Duneira” in Macedon on Monday.
To book for the luncheon or for more information about Ballarat Gardens in Spring, contact 0407 324 466 or go to www.fbbg.org.au.