Originally this site was used for grazing, a brick pit and Government camping ground. It was proclaimed a reserve in 1869. Thanks to a campaign launched by Mayor Groom the site was established as a Botanic Garden in 1875. In the early days the gardens consisted of circular beds of roses, camellias and other flowering plants.
Queens Park Gardens is adjacent to Queens Park which is a recreation are offering something for people of all ages. It is a great location for family picnics, very handy for festivals and concerts as well as the venue of many junior sporting activities.
We entered Queens Park Gardens from Lindsay Street via the beautiful Helidon sandstone archway. Once inside your eyes are drawn to columns of granite presented to the city in 1978. We loved the symmetry of the Parterre Garden. It was a very popular gardening method of the 17th century. Parterre gardens use planted beds in such a way that the pattern formed by die beds is an ornament itself.
Walking through the Avenue of Canary Island Palms we imagined these palms in their mature splendour – 15m high and 9m wide. My absolute favourite is the Queensland Bottle Tree. It reminds strongly of the Boab Tree, but is not related to it. Farmers cut branches from this tree for stock during droughts.
Other very impressive trees are the Kauri Pine, California Redwood, Australian Red Cedar, Bunya Pine, Hoop Pine and Wollemi Pine. Some people refer to the Wollemi Pine as the “dinosaur tree” as it is believed to be one of the world’s oldest and rarest tree species. The garden houses a pond and fountain constructed from local Helidon sandstone.
I believe this Garden will be a marvel to behold come the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers during the last full week of September. About 40 000 seedlings and thousands of bulbs are planted each year for this festival.