Monday, April 22, 2024

Ballarat honours Bob the gardener

The City of Ballarat Parks and Gardens team will plant a four-metre-tall lime tree in the Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens to thank local resident Bob Carmichael, who has donated his time to care for the historic gardens.  

The new tree is part of succession planning for an adjacent lime tree thought to have been planted in the 1860s.  

The Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens hold many significant trees, including two fir trees listed on the City of Ballarat Exceptional Tree Register which were planted in 1901 by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. 

The garden’s trees and immediate terraces are now under the custodianship of BGT and the Department of Education.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Daniel Moloney said Ballarat owes so much to people like Bob (pictured), and those that have gone before, who have generously given their time, hard work and initiative in making our green spaces what they are. 

“The Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens are part of a very historic site and perhaps a little bit of a hidden gem,” Cr Moloney said. 

“They are open to the public and house some historic and significant trees. Bob’s tireless devotion to helping care for and nurture the gardens is something we are all indebted to. It leaves a legacy that so many will enjoy in the years to come.” 

The former Ballarat East Town Hall and Gardens are historically and culturally significant as the civic heart of the former Ballarat East municipality.  

Originally an old mining landscape, the site was developed with key buildings including the town hall, police court, library and fire station. The gardens remain a historical site cornerstone and have become an asset to the continuing activation of Barkly Square and its vibrant community hub.  

“Green space and heritage are key focal areas of our 2021-2025 Council Plan,” Cr Moloney said. 

“We need to value our heritage and we need to promote and implement environmental sustainability. The planting of this tree is a thank you to Bob and his work that supports our goals and values as a city. 

“The work of Bob Carmichael, clearing and pruning the terraces of the town hall site, has resulted in a magnificent reminder of what is still a very historic and beautiful garden.  

“The significant trees that provide such cool shade and the steep terraces underneath are now no longer strangled in ivy and blackberry and, thanks to Bob’s hard work, are now ready to breathe new life into this lovely garden.” 

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