If you find yourself near Benalla (in Victoria, Australia), perhaps driving down the Hume Highway on your way to another engagement, I’d highly recommend a short detour to visit Benalla. The bustling country town has a street art exhibition on that’s drawing visitors but for a weary traveller, it’s the botanical gardens that I’d recommend – read on to find out why. If you’re not likely to be able to visit Benalla any time soon, have a scroll through this post anyway and enjoy the pictures – you might just find the inspiration you need for your next garden project.

Situated on the shores of Lake Benalla, the Benalla Botanical Gardens are over 130 years old but have obviously been well maintained and are well worth a visit if you’re passing through that area of Australia. Though small, the gardens contain some lovely plant groupings that will delight those going for a stroll or stopping for a picnic lunch, regardless of the time of year, and some might just inspire a new bed in your own garden if you but take the time to explore the gardens for a short while.

This eclectic mix of plants might provide the spark that ignites an idea for a new bed in your garden

This eclectic mix of plants might provide the spark that ignites an idea for a new bed in your garden

The rose garden has some lovely specimens and though I wouldn’t recommend visiting in winter if you specifically want to see the roses, you’ll still get a feel for that section of the garden if you visit during the colder months as we did.

A particularly lovely pink rose

A particularly lovely pink rose

A deep-red rose - one of my favourite rose colours

A deep-red rose – one of my favourite rose colours

A deep-red rose - one of my favourite rose colours

Another deep-red rose – a beautiful specimen

If you or a loved one has a mobility impairment, you’ll be pleased to know that the Benalla Botanical Gardens are well laid out with lots of wide, smooth paths.

The garden is easy to manoeuvre through

The garden is easy to manoeuvre through

For those with children, there is a pretty good park right next to the gardens but the gardens themselves also boast plenty of open, grassy space for the kids to run around in. The careful plant selection also offers a bit of a sensory experience with lots of interesting textures for the young and old alike to explore.

Araucaria bidwillii (the Bunya Bunya Pine) has a lovely, rough and rippled texture

Araucaria bidwillii (the Bunya Bunya Pine) has a lovely, rough and rippled texture

The good old paper bark is another specimen with a lovely texture

The good old paper bark is another specimen with a lovely texture

My favourite plants in the garden would have to be the bottle brushes and the giant succulents. The former supply food for a variety of birds and beneficial insects while the latter can give structure to any garden. In addition, both provide beautiful colours from which a full colour palette could be developed. Both plants are also drought tollerant so would make a good choice in any garden that has dry areas and/or receives low rainfall, whether in Australia or elsewhere.

Some of the lovely bottle brushes in flower at the gardens in winter

Some of the lovely bottle brushes in flower at the gardens in winter

Some of the giant succulents on display at the gardens

Some of the giant succulents on display at the gardens

Despite the small size of the gardens, I enjoyed stopping for lunch in these gardens with my husband and daughter and we’ve made plans to visit again next time we’re driving through. If you need some more inspiration or want to see a bit more of the garden, take a look at the gallery of pictures below. And let me know what you think of the gardens. Has one of these pictures or a visit to the gardens inspired your own gardening efforts?

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Categories: Gardening

K. M. Wade

Kelly is a business content writer, copywriter, content marketing strategist, author, scientist (PhD) and gardener with 10+ years of professional writing experience

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