TIMELINE


1851 - The discovery of gold at Ballarat changed forever the future of this district from an isolated squatter settlement to, a place which was at one stage, the richest urban area in the world.

1856 – Municipality of Ballarat was formed.

1857 – The decision was made to convert the Ballarat Police Horse Paddock into a botanical garden and at the same time construct a road on the west side of Yuilles Swamp (Lake Wendouree) to be known as Wendouree Parade. Trained in horticultural at Lowther Castle, England; George Longley was appointed the first curator, tasked with converting Wright and Andersons design into a reality. Longley lived in a tent pitched approximately on the site of the Robert Clark Centre

1859 – Botanical Gardens Nursery was established. Plants and seeds were received from the Melbourne and Geelong Botanic Gardens.

1860 – The establishment of the principal tree plantings that still give the gardens much of their unique character today.

1862 – First maze built in the Botanical Gardens – it was removed in 1881 to build a large conservatory.

1863 – Planting of the Giant Redwood Avenue. 1870 – Fish Acclimatisation Society established in South Gardens

1884 - The Camellia House was extended to create the 'gothic fantasy' of the Batten Fernery. The Fernery was extended in stages until its completion in 1898, when it became a 'uniquely Ballarat' structure with an outstanding fern collection, cool grottos and fish ponds. Remnant footings remain exposed in the gardens west of the current fernery. 1888 A new Maze was built in the North Gardens to the same design as one in Hampton Court Palace in London. It was finally removed in 1959.

1916 - The rock-walled lily pond on the south side of the Fernery was constructed.