From my emails at the time:
"A diffused sun pushed its wan light below the clouds as I surveyed the morning scene overlooking the bay and pondered the advantages of a motorhome; parked here with million dollar views and not a soul to disturb me though I knew that would change.
Behind me was Geelong Botanical Gardens. Last time I’d been there the drought meant the survival of some plants was in jeopardy but today the earthy browns had been dispatched by a verdant green carpet sprinkled with droplets from last night’s showers.
I took another mouthful of my compulsory Weetbix and watched the ruffled waters of Corio Bay bouncing the small craft and clanging the halyards on the masts of the yachts. The radio was telling me there are 740 museums in Victoria. Apparently there’s a body called Museums Australia and they’re having a conference down here. I had a serious cleanup of the motorhome and then toddled off to the gardens.
I was rewarded with an eclectic mix of plants and some new sculpture that had been added since my last brief visit. I was unsure how long the cacti exhibit had been there but I didn’t recall it.
They have a body called the friends of the garden with over 500 members, perhaps some of them inspired it, along with their botanic art classes and the over 4,000 plants they’ve already propagated this year.
There’s also lots of history with bronze cranes from Japan and a fountain, both from the 19th century, along with the first customs house (1838), a nondescript white shed now at its final resting place."
I spent two hours toddling around photographing this and that and then packed up and moved north after lunch,
A highlight of any trip to Geelong is the eclectic display at Geelong Botanical Gardens. This eclectic mix of exotic plants is worth a stroll through anytime, even when the weather here turns a little nasty, something that happened to me. Never mind, the gardens will help to relax you and take your mind off it.
As you walk in the gardens there's two of those quirky painted posts that are endemic to the town.
The second one (male, of course) is a representation of the first curator of the gardens, Daniel Bunce.
The other thing that immediately catches your eye is the stand out dragon tree supported by metal rods.
At the Geelong Botanic Gardens you can learn the names of the plants - both their commmon name and their botanical name.
You can have a cup of tea or coffee at The Tea House and buy some plants to take home.
Take a look at the new sculptures and architecture at the new main entrance. Or come in and find the old main entrance, with the original wrought iron name over the gate. Just inside the old main entrance you can meet two of the Bollard people. The original curator is one of the Bollards.
Walk through the hot houses and view exotic plants as well as local plants. When the pelargoniums are in full flower the display is magnificent.
In 1851 about 81 hectares of land was set aside for the Geelong Botanical Gardens but it became impractical with the hot dry summers to develop such a huge area into soley Botanical Gardens and so 2 hectares was developed and then later increased.
The Geelong Botanical Gardens are a short walk from the City. A place for people of all ages. Go there for a peaceful walk in the Park, to learn about geelongs history, a picnic, a cup of coffe and a sandwich, to get away from everything.
View the regions many varied plant life including Rainforest, 21st Century Garden, and Rose Garden.
There are some very rare and also common plants to be seen including a bush known as the "black boy" oftern found in the Australian Bush pictured here.
Succulent Garden with plants from Geelong region, Outback Australia,US, Africa and other dry climates.