A flower which once featured in the Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens will be celebrated during the city's heritage weekend festival.
The chrysanthemum was such a feature in the Barkly Street garden that every year from 1892 up until the amalgamation of the townships Ballaarat East and Ballaarat West in 1921, a special display was held.
Now 130 years on, the chrysanthemum will once again grace the 158-year-old Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens through the inaugural 'Oasis in the Desert'.
The Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens Revitalisation Group, a group of the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House, is holding the family-friendly weekend event as part of this month's nine day Ballarat Heritage Festival.
Oasis in the Desert is a flower and garden show and photo exhibition celebrating the chrysanthemum and the unfolding beauty of the former Town Hall Gardens.
It will feature displays, talks, demonstrations, children's activities, garden tours and choral presentation. There will be more than 200 chrysanthemums on display in the Barkly Square court yard.
A major photography exhibition, 'The Grand Chrysanthemum Show', will showcase the heritage significance of the former Town Hall Gardens and the Ballarat East civic precinct.
A drawcard to the event is Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist Alan Randell-Smith, who will hold two floral art demonstrations using chrysanthemums supplied by Ballarat chrysanthemum growers.
Mr Randell-Smith said chrysanthemums, portrayed as a Mother's Day flower, had previously gone out of style but they were coming back in trend.
"They are coming out and they are much more exciting," Mr Randell-Smith said.
He said anyone interested in gardening, aesthetics and the historical design of the Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens would enjoy his demonstrations.
Ballarat East Neighbourhood House manager Sarah Greenwood-Smith said the group was excited to be able to recognise the heritage and historical significance of the Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens.
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"It will be great to bring the community together and we really thank our volunteers from our garden group who have been working very hard to get this event prepared," Ms Greenwood-Smith said.
"It will be great to see Barkly Square shine and put on this community event as part of Ballarat Heritage Festival."
Oasis in the Desert will be held on May 21 and 22 at Barkly Square and the surrounding gardens, Barkly Street, Ballarat East.
It is being held in partnership with the Barkly Square community.
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