EXTREME PHOTO ALERT!
Ballarat’s Begonia Festival was this weekend. Garrulous Gwendoline has already shown you. But I went yesterday when they were pulling down the stalls and cleaning up and there was no sign of the thousands who attended.
So this is how an old local sees the begonias! We start outside on Wendouree Parade where we get our first glimpse of the Robert Clark Conservatory that replaced, in 1995, the old glasshouse that I first saw in 1958.
Through the gates.
Next we are confronted by the imposing statue of William Wallace, the 13th Century Scottish hero.
But before we get there we are distracted by a rather beautiful building down a short pathway to the right.
No! This is not another conservatory. It is a Statuary Pavilion. Inside are five statues known as the James Russell Thomson Collection. These are The Flight From Pompey, Susannah, Ruth, Rebekah and Modesty. The Wallace statue is also a part of the Thomson Collection.
Dotted throughout the gardens are more statues known as the Thomas Stoddart Collection. Stoddart visited Italy in 1882 and was impressed by the sculptures he saw in Italian cities. He purchased twelve statues; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Hercules, Mercury, Bacchante, Flora Farnese, Flora, Leda, Hebe and Pomona. I will only show three.
Anyway we had better get over to the Conservatory.
We’ll follow the old dear in the red.
And I will let you wander through at your leisure. Perhaps make cup of tea and comeback and look at the slide show. There are twenty four photos. I did warn you.
And when you are finished another leisurely wander around outside.
Only ten this time.
A bit more about Ballarat Gardens later.