We were fortunate to have a beautiful day on Saturday 21st July when we met for a self-guided tour at Roraima Nursery & Display Gardens and later travelled on to Geelong. Over morning tea, Lyle Filippe, owner of Roraima gave us a talk about his experience in horticulture and the genesis of his Nursery and Gardens.
It was great to hear how despite lots of hard work over many years his dream garden has come to fruition. He also has further plans to develop the Gardens with permanent Tearooms – another reason to return in the future! His artistic eye for contrasting foliage, using rare plants from all over the world and incorporating quirky sculptures gave us plenty of pause to admire and be inspired. As these photos below show.
Lyle Filippe, owner of Roraima, speaking with the EWHA guests.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at “Botanical on Ryrie” Cafe in East Geelong where attendees could meet new friends and connected with old ones as we shared our impressions of Roraima and chatted about our individual connections with the horticulture industry.
Our next stop was Geelong Botanic Gardens, the fourth oldest Botanic Garden in Australia. The group split up to be guided by volunteer Guides, exploring the history of the Gardens and being introduced to some ancient trees dating to the Garden’s inception: a giant Californian Redwood, a huge Ginkgo biloba and many Palm varieties. A Pit Glasshouse dating back to 1860 and other heritage buildings are still on the site. We also learnt of their recent works to provide a new Conservatory and obtain a secure water supply.
The bark of the ancient Gingo Bilbo The cork oak quercus suber
Our final stop for the day was at Green Hip which supplies garden workwear for women. Olivia Thwaites, EWHA member and proprietor of this business, welcomed us with finger food and bubbles, opening up her studio to show off her range and demonstrate the comfort of each item. We were all impressed by her efforts to design clothing for the female form and most attendees took advantage of this opportunity to purchase items. Olivia also described her journey in horticulture and the development of her business, giving practical advice on what to expect with this type of venture.