Garden gurus to add to Ballarat's Begonia Festival

THIS weekend’s Begonia Festival offer a rare opportunity for beginners to hear from experts.

The line-up of gardening gurus who will be at the Begonia Festival to offer their insights this year includes: ABC Melbourne gardening presenter Carolyn Blackman, 2013 London Chelsea Flower Show best in show medal winner Wes Fleming, backyard gardening identity Melissa King, and landscape architect David Turley.

City of Ballarat councillor for tourism Samantha McIntosh said the guests would enable patrons to take something away from the festival to apply to their own gardens. 

“The festival is about enjoying the beauty of Ballarat and the gardens but it is also about providing initiatives and ideas so that everyone can grow and beautify their gardens,” Cr McIntosh said. 

“When you have green gardens it makes everyone feel better.”  Central Highlands Water community engagement manager Jamie McDonald said, despite Ballarat’s fourth driest summer on record, gardeners are still able to care for their gardens. 

“Our reservoirs are at 75 per cent for Ballarat and district, and we are on permanent water saving rules,” Mr McDonald said.

“That means people can water at any time with a trigger nozzle, and use sprinklers and watering systems from 6pm until 10am.”

The gardeners’ market also returns this year, with involvement from botanical garden tenant groups including: the Victorian Begonia Society, Horticultural Society, Bonsai Society, and the Cactus and Succulent Society.