Botanica Festival 2023

14 May 2023 ‐

14 May 2023

10:00 am ‐ 3:00 pm

Gold coin per person

A celebration of our natural environment, gardening and sustainability.

Join us at Rippon Lea Estate for a day of botanical fun with an open-air market in partnership with The Rose Street Market, informative garden tours and walks, displays and activities, plus so much more.

Don’t miss

Plant Sale: Our gardening team have been very busy propagating and potting up ready for this year’s festival.

Open Air Market: Shop from local makers and growers.

Bonsai Exhibition: The Bonsai Society of Victoria will be showcasing some of the very finest examples from their collection. Held in the opulent interior of the Rippon Lea ballroom, visitors will see the technique of traditional Japanese styles and contemporary relationships applied to the bonsai craft.

Gardening Book Sale: shop pre-loved gardening books, all under $5 each.

Garden Tours: join the Rippon Lea gardening team and volunteers on a tour, including the social history of this magnificent Victorian era pleasure garden , a discovery of the significant trees of Rippon Lea, and a gardening Q&A.

Entertainment: Catch roving performances throughout the day.

Food Vans: Bring a picnic blanket to enjoy lunch on the lawns.

The Country Womens Association will be serving freshly backed scones with jam & cream on the western verandah.

Jam Making Awards: the winner of our jam making competition will be announced.

Entry is a gold coin per person. 

Supported by The City Of Glen Eira


More about Rippon Lea Estate

Rippon Lea Estate Gardens

The garden is complex and covers almost 14 acres, which includes a large lake, extensive shrubberies and flower gardens, an orchard of historically significant fruit varieties, a fernery, rose gardens and many other features of historical, landscape and architectural interest, all forming the setting for the polychrome brick mansion completed in 1868. The garden is tended by a Head Gardener, staff of five gardeners and a team of volunteers.

The Fernery

Even on a warm day it is a cooling experience to walk through the Rippon Lea fernery. It features meandering paths, trickling streams and hundreds of species of ferns and palms, from native to rare and unusual varieties. Built in the 1870s, when ferns were the height of fashion, almost every Victorian home featured ferns in some form. At that time, larger ferneries were developed in the Geelong and Ballarat Botanic Gardens. Many other examples have fallen into disrepair or disappeared entirely. Listen to the Rippon Lea Fernery soundscape for a truly sensory experience.

The Lake

The original lake was excavated in the 1870s. It was smaller but included exotic plants and two islands. In the 1880s it was enlarged to a depth of 114cm, and incorporated five water jets concealed in rocks, a grotto and a mound featuring a tower. The lake is populated with black duck, chestnut teal, grey teal, moor hen and hoary headed grebe. The water also supports eel, carp, and tortoises. A wide variety of plants nestle along its banks.



Plan your Visit

Rippon Lea Estate


192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185 VIC

Tea Room
Please note that the Tea Rooms are open for takeaway hot and cold drinks, ice cream, and biscuits. Sandwiches and cakes will be on offer when available. Takeaway drinks and food can be enjoyed on the main mansion veranda where tables and chairs will be provided to soak up the beautiful views of the garden.

The Gatehouse Gift Shop
There is a lovely selection of gifts and homewares to suit everyone’s taste.
Shop with the National Trust and you’ll be supporting our valuable work.
National Trust Members receive 10% off all purchases on the presentation of their membership card.

The Gatehouse Nursery
Here you will find a wonderful variety of plants for sale.
National Trust Members receive 10% off all purchases on the presentation of their membership card.

For school bookings or group bookings, please contact our Bookings Office on (03) 9656 9889 Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm.

Learn More

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