Large feature rocks, “moon gates”, interactive play spaces and an area suited to wedding ceremonies – with plants fusing Chinese and Australian culture – are among the features of an Alexandra Gardens Island design revealed today.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the new island garden design celebrates Ararat’s Chinese heritage connection instead of the Japanese theme the bridge portrays.
Work on the island will begin next week with excavation and ground works.
Dr Harrison said under the designs, two round “moon gates” – a traditional Chinese architectural garden element – will be placed at two locations to frame the island scenery looking out towards the Alexandra Gardens.
Large rocks will also be a focal point and used for seating around the island.
“The design also includes an area that is suited for gatherings including wedding ceremonies, so that will be a great addition for the community to use,” he said.
“Stepping stones will be placed throughout the plantings, which will include bamboo creating secret paths. As the plants grow and establish, this will enhance the interactive spaces for children to explore and play in.”
Dr Harrison said the island gardens would include different plants incorporating Chinese and Australian species such as the pomegranate, cherry, ginkgo, grass trees and the red tea tree.
“The island’s soil structure is such that it doesn’t suit large trees so the garden design will include low-level plantings with some medium-sized feature trees,” he said.
“The Council has already had comments from the community saying how much better the island looks without the large trees as it has opened up the area.
“We really appreciate the community comments that contributed to this design, so thank you to everyone who gave us feedback.”