Ballarat’s Begonia Festival may look a little different this year – but not even a world pandemic can stop the City’s impressive Begonia collection from blooming.
The City of Ballarat’s dedicated nursery team will today begin the delicate and manual task of moving the flowering Begonia plants into the Robert Clark Conservatory at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
Peter Marquand, Curator Parks and Nursery says this year’s display is simple but stunning with massive banks of colourful Begonias. “We’ve experienced a cooler Summer this year, and if anything, the flowers are not quite as tall, but they’re in great shape, and just as vibrant,” he said.
The Begonia Display will remain in the Conservatory until mid- April and will be open daily from 10.00am-5.00pm during the festival.
Ballarat’s collection of Begonias is unique and rare, one of the most impressive in the world with over 500 varieties. This year visitors will have more opportunities to see and enjoy Ballarat’s most famous flower outside of their usual location.
Within the historic Queen Alexandra bandstand in Sturt Street, five layers of potted Begonias will form a Begonia shaped installation while over at the Civic Hall, a floating Begonia carpet will be on display as part of the Urban Garden, for a limited time, 6 to 14 March.
The Ballarat Town Hall will be graced with a Begonia Garland with 100 exquisite hand-crafted paper-clay Begonias and local businesses will showcase vibrant Begonias, many housed in hand-painted pots designed specifically for the festival.
For anyone wanting to purchase their very own Begonia, they will be available for sale at the Ballarat Begonia Festival Gardeners Market on Saturday, 6 March in Sturt Street, between the Town Hall and Myer, from 12noon to 5pm.
With citywide attractions including self-guided audio tours at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and the Buninyong Botanic Gardens, the City is looking to attract the lucrative friends and relatives’ market during an extended (COVID-safe) festival footprint over three weeks and four weekends from 6 to 28 March.
More blooming creations will be officially unveiled on Friday, 5 March – the eve of the 69th Ballarat Begonia Festival.
Visit ballaratbegoniafestival.com for program details.