What's On




Thursdays 11.00 am Winter Lecture Series, A series of one-hour Zoom lectures to run throughout Winter.  Following the success of the 2021 Zoom Winter Lectures, we have produced a second series. There has been much consideration and research in choosing the lecture subjects and presenters. We have had several requests for topics and have tried to include all of these in the program.
Members $30, Non-members $35

See Full Program.

Book for Zoom Lectures

Thursday 23: Annual Winter Lunch, 12.00 pm - 3.00 pm 
Join us at Truffleduck, Fyansford for the Friends' annual fundraising Winter Lunch. A delicious two-course menu with drinks at bar prices. Guest Speaker Lynsey Poore will be speaking on the Physic Garden at Chelsea, established as the Apothecaries' Garden. It has occupied four acres of land on the edge of the Thames River since 1673. Members $75, Non-members $85.00 

Chelsea Physic Garden

Saturday and Sunday 25-26: Botanic Art Workshop 'Beginners’ drawing graphite' Weekend workshop #1 BOOKED OUT

This intensive 4 day workshop is an introduction to botanical art learning the basics of drawing. It will comprise of two components – graphite on Weekend #1 and coloured pencil on Weekend #2. The focus on both weekends will be on drawing from observation to achieve realistic renderings of botanical subjects. This will incorporate developing skills such as tonal variation, different mark making techniques, understanding how basic geometric shapes can be found in nature and translating them into your drawings. This workshop is suitable for beginners with little to no experience in botanical drawing and is presented in a friendly and supportive environment within the beautiful setting of the Geelong Botanic Gardens. 


Saturday and Sunday 2-3: Botanic Art Workshop 'Beginners’ drawing coloured pencil' Weekend workshop #2 BOOKED OUT

Sunday 17: Themed Guided Walk -  'Eastern Park Walk', 2.00 pm
Eastern Park has a diverse collection of trees including several with heritage status, heritage structures, a statue, and a well-watered garden. It also has a missing statue that reflects the attitudes of the local community.
As the walk is 3-4 km, mostly on paths, please wear suitable shoes and bring rain gear if showers are forecast. Meet your guide at the front steps, gold coin donation.

Thursdays 11.00 am:  Lecture Series continues through July Booking for remaining Lectures still available, BOOK NOW



Sunday 14: Themed Guided Walk - 'Wattle It Be', 2.00 pm
National Wattle Day is on 1st September, celebrating the beginning of spring and our unity as a nation. Wattles have survived drought and bushfires and provided food, medicine, and timber for all Australians. Australia’s national flower is the Golden Wattle, and many wattles make excellent garden plants. Meet your guide at the front steps, gold coin donation.

Monday 29: Annual General Meeting, 5.30 pm -7.30 pm


Friday 9: Movie Night "Dare to be Wild" 6.00 pm - 8.30 pm TBC

Sunday 11: Themed Guided Walk - 'Chinese Plants in our Garden'  2.00 pm    
China had the first Botanical Garden in 138 BC, an enormous park with 2,000 different plants and hothouses.  2nd emperor Yang Di in the Sui dynasty (581-618AD) built the largest gardens in history and searched far and wide for rare and beautiful plants.  2,000 years of Chinese horticultural endeavor enrich gardens all over the world. You won’t believe how many of our plants have Chinese origins! Meet your guide at the front steps, gold coin donation.

Thursday TBC: Gwen’s Cooking Demonstration followed by lunch, 10.00 am
Gwen Anderson will demonstrate a range of Winter dishes at her home. Participants will enjoy a 4-course lunch from the prepared dishes. Maximum 20, cost TBC


Sunday 9: 'Australian Plants in Flower', 2.00 pm
Many Australian plants are displaying their glorious best in spring.  Pollinators are active then, seeds are set and the plants go into retirement mode for the heat of summer.  October is a wonderful time to experience all the colorful and more delicate blooms of the Australian plants in our Gardens.  Meet your guide at the front steps, gold coin donation.

Monday 10:  Through the Garden Gates, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Visit four gardens in the Leopold/Barwon Heads area, with afternoon tea and plant sale at the final Garden, a delightful day exploring a garden not usually open to the public. More details to come.


Sunday 13: Themed Guided walk - 'Geelong's Long Green Spine'  2.00 pm
Come for a guided walk through the centre of Geelong, to see mature trees and recently-planted garden beds. Explore why a garden is sunken, visit pines from Gallipoli, see plants in full spring bloom, look at the imaginative use of diverse, and unusual, plants in the middle of the shopping area and enjoy the peak of the rose flowering season. Meet your guide at the front steps, gold coin donation.

Monday 14: Yarra Valley Coach Tour to Alowyn Gardens and Antique Perennials Nursery and Show Garden, 9.00 am -5.45 pm
A big day in the Yarra Valley with the first stop at Antique Perennials – growers of garden collectibles, rare and unusual perennials, grasses, and alpines. Then on to Alowyn Gardens with its amazing formal garden areas – a perennial border, silver birch forest, an edible garden of generous proportions, a parterre garden built along with 17thC design principles, and a number of display gardens and a sunken garden. These are all tied by a 100m long wisteria and rose-covered archway. There is a café here or BYO picnic lunch to enjoy. Contact the office for more information.


Friday 2: Friends' Christmas Picnic and Drinks 5.30 pm - 7.30 pm



The Friends’ Plant Nursery is open every Wednesday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm showcasing a wide selection of plants sourced from the Geelong Botanic Gardens. 

Located at the rear of the GBG.


Every Wednesday at 11.00 am, and Sunday at 2.00 pm. 


For more information, or to make a booking, contact the Friends’ office on 5222 6053 between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm Monday to Friday.


Teahouse @GBG Bookings can be made by phone at 0413 706 535.


Members recently enjoyed a Cooking Demonstration with Gwen Anderson and absolutely enjoyed the luncheon which followed.  (Photos: Annie McGeachy)

Through the Garden Gates
The Friends have held these very popular self-drive garden tours, visiting private gardens in the areas:
  • 2012 - the Bellarine
  • 2013 - the Surf Coast
  • 2014 - Geelong
  • 2015 - the Bellarine
  • 2016 - Golden Plains
  • 2017 - the Bellarine
  • 2018 - the Bellarine
  • 2019 - the Surf Coast

In 2019, the tour revisited the Surf Coast region and visited four stunning gardens in the Freshwater Creek, Moriac and Bellbrae areas – offering an incredible variety of design and location.

Afternoon Tea was included in the ticket price - and this was again a delicious event, held at Bellbrae.  At Bellbrae, there was a Plant Stall (plants from gardens of Growers and Friends).