Displays of orchids, bonsai and bromeliads, as well as garden tours and talks, are highlights of the Botanic Garden Australia and New Zealand Open Day at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens on Sunday, May 28.
“More than 100 botanic gardens, arboreta and gardens across Australia and New Zealand will celebrate Botanic Gardens Day,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.
“Botanic gardens are wonderful places. They allow you to get into nature, to relax, and rejuvenate.”
The Fraser Coast Regional Council operates two botanic gardens – the historic Queens Park in Maryborough and the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.
“The gardens showcase the rich cultural and botanic diversity of the Fraser Coast through the plant life and community facilities such as the Fairy Fountain and Rotunda in Queens Park and the Chinese Garden in Hervey Bay,” Cr Seymour said.
The Open Day, which starts at 10 am at the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden, includes activities and displays to highlight the role of plants in our lives and the vital work in botanic gardens to preserve them for future generations.
Activities include garden tours, a talk on bats, a frog motel workshop, displays of orchids, bonsai and bromeliads and potting demonstrations.
The event has been organised by Council’s Botanic Gardens and Orchid House Team in conjunction with community groups.
Hervey Bay Botanical Gardens
The sand dunes visitors can see as you walk through the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden were formed 6,000 years ago.
As visitors wander the pathways throughout the 26-hectare property, they can marvel at the many different types of vegetation that make up Hervey Bay – including examples of rainforest, beach ridge and heath country; or sit on the grass in the shade of the trees.
A feature of the garden is the Orchid House and the year-round display of orchids in flower. There are about 5,000 orchids in the collection, which covers about 65 varieties from around the world and native Australian orchids.
The Chinese-themed garden has been created as a part of the Bay’s sister-city relationship with Leshan in China.
The garden features a moon gate, pavilion, waterfall, vine arbour and contemplation pond.
Heritage-listed Queen’s Park, one of Australia’s earliest botanic gardens, covers 5.2 hectares in the heart of Maryborough.
It has sweeping river views, rolling green lawns, annual flower beds, ancient trees, Gallipoli to Armistice memorial walk, a miniature steam train circuit and other unique heritage structures.
At Queens Park, there is something to discover at almost every step – including the spectacular Sausage tree, that bears bright red pendulous flowers and fruit that weigh several kilograms that resemble sausages and the magnificent banyan tree, that is one of the largest and most outstanding trees of its kind Australia.
Since its inception, the park has been regarded as an outstanding example of landscape design.
It also remains an integral part of a network of botanic gardens across the British Commonwealth – of which the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London was the originating hub.
The honour of establishing Queens Park falls to Maryborough’s first mayor Henry Palmer.
During the mid-1840s, amateur botanist and explorer, John Carne Bidwill collected specimens of trees from the Moreton Bay region. The Bunya Pine, located in the south-east corner of the Park, near the entrance gates, is thought to be a surviving tree from his collection.
In 1865, his town was quickly evolving into a thriving port and centre of commerce, but the social and physical health of his residents was foremost on his mind.
Mayor Palmer lobbied the colonial government to allow a large block of riverfront land not used for the bustling wharves to become a public garden.
His belief in the great importance of the park “for fresh air, health and exercise” was shared by one of Maryborough’s most influential citizens – Customs Master Richard Sheridan.
As the first chairman of the board of the Maryborough Botanic Garden, Sheridan oversaw the first 10 crucial years of the park’s development, including the introduction of hundreds of rare and beautiful trees, flowers and shrubs.