The Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens provide uniquely elevated views in an historic garden setting. Thanks to the effort of the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, a plan is underway to create a rustic pavilion to provide a special place to enjoy the views from the south east side of the garden.

The pavilion takes its inspiration from the temples seen in some grand European gardens.

Approvals from Heritage Victoria and the Hepburn Shire are in progress. Local sculptor, Miriam Porter is creating wooden seats and large scale pine cones to encourage people to sit and contemplate. The Friends hope her Artistic carvings will also embellish the front pediment and the back wall.

Timber from recently fallen trees will be used – rough hewn and rustic.

Architect, Steve Davis, has been instrumental in developing the pavilion design. His drawings provide the foundation for the work that is in progress.

The Pavilion is consistent with ┬áthe overall Master Plan for the Gardens developed by Andrew Laidlaw in 2017. It proposed a “Garden of Views” in the south-east corner, now well underway thanks to the Friends.

The Friends have been remarkably successful. In addition to the work on the Garden of Views they have recently invested $200,000 in three further projects in the Gardens. These funds complement $180,000 from the Shire and $500,000 from the Victorian Government.

Further projects include:

  • stone steps for the Fernery to join up the pedestrian entry from Central Springs Road,
  • repair of the Alf Headland Conservatory that is used for growing Begonias and other flowering plants over winter and
  • the Day Basin and the Rustic Cascade project. This major project includes repairs, landscaping, and rebuilding the toilet block around the Basin and the Tower.

These initiatives would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers and the funding raising activities of the Friends, particularly through plant sales held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 2.

Editor’s note: Adapted from the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Spring Newsletter