Cold, wet conditions did not dampen the spirits of close to 1000 “resilient” gardeners who flooded four of the city’s most prized historical gardens over the weekend.
(min cost $8)
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While attendees had been told to “pack a picnic” so they could enjoy the vast, park like grounds of The Bishop’s Palace the weather did not comply. Brave attendees sheltered under umbrellas and ponchos as they strolled through the private garden, rarely open to the public.
Ballarat Gardens in Spring volunteer committee organiser Helen Todd said the four open gardens – Selkirks, The Bishop’s Palace, Elsinore and Carngham’s Yoothamurra showcased the heritage theme chosen by the group this year.
“We looked at a heritage theme this year, we were looking at more of the historical houses. The Bishop’s Palace has great history and Elsinore has wonderful history (as well),” Ms Todd said.
“Despite the weather we had 500 in each garden yesterday (on Saturday) and around the 300 mark (on Sunday).
“Gardeners are very resilient people.”
The Bishop’s Garden, visited by Melbourne residents Nita and Robert McKay, surround a unique gothic bluestone building constructed in 1877 for the first Bishop of Ballarat as the Roman Catholic Church headquarters.
The elaborate entrance gates, bluestone arch in the rear garden and stately cast iron-work are some of the features of the 11 acres property that has numerous mature trees and shrubs and expansive lawn areas.
“The Bishop’s Palace has a park like feel – the trees are the main feature,’ Ms Todd said.
“Gardeners are always looking for inspiration and love sharing gardens.
“Gardeners love looking at and appreciating gardens, you’d be amazed they love looking at gardens and having a sticky nose at historical houses.
“This event is trying to inspire and educate people that these aren't perfect gardens - these are people's homes - that’s what it’s all about – to be inspired and educated.
“The world a bit sad – but gardeners are very optimistic.”
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