Conservatory Fitzroy Gardens

History and Displays

NEW - BOOK for 2018



One of Melbourne's favourite tourist attractions, the Conservatory situated in the Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne. A vital part of the city's commitment to excellence in horticulture.

A Conservatory is a building to display a variety of plants, flowers and hanging baskets under controlled conditions. A place visited by tourists, schools groups, families and anyone who wants to capture a moment of floral beauty.

Most other large cities in the world included conservatories in their public gardens. Even in Victoria conservatories were provided at many gardens in country towns and these were visited by large numbers of people from Melbourne and other parts of the State.

This hardcover book of 72 pages covers history starting in 1926 when the parks Curator J. T. Smith proposed the idea of a large conservatory in the Gardens. By 1928 plans had been approved for the Conservatory, which the City of Melbourne proposed to erect in Fitzroy Gardens. "A long-cherished ambition has been realised by the completion of this building," said the Lord Mayor (Councillor Luxton), when opening the new Conservatory in March 1930.

Five sections are devoted to the five separate floral displays held each year. Hydrangea / Fuchsia November – February; Tuberous Begonia / Gloxinia February – April; Tropical / Poinsettia April – July; Cineraria / Cyclamen July – September; Schizanthus / Calceolaria September – November. With description of the main plants and flowers including many images of the displays.

Two special sections cover the history and life of Mary Gilbert, the first European woman to live in the Port Phillip settlement of Melbourne and whose statue is on display inside the Conservatory. Also about Mr. Ken (Kenneth) Macdonald who was the Head Propagator at Fitzroy Gardens Nursery from 1921 to 1933. Known as the 'Begonia King', who had a Tuberous Begonia named 'Ken Macdonald' so named in 1960 in memory of and is still being grown today.

Subject: History/Plants & Flowers
ISBN:      9780987305275
Cover:     Hard cover
Pages:     72
Images:   89 colour, 9 b/w, plus coloured map
Size:        190mm x 260mm

Australia Only, On-line price.
Book cost $17.60 plus $5 handling and postage.
Total Cost $22.60

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Sample pages from the book, click on the above image to enlarge.
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Also available from
Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre, Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne. Ph (03) 9658 9658