Plans for a revamped island at the Gardens

The Alexandra Gardens Island has been a barren landscape for the past three months following the felling of four unsafe trees in February, after one collapsed on the island in December of last year.

The island’s future has been revealed by council today in a sketched design that includes large feature rocks, “moon gates”, interactive play spaces and an area suited to wedding ceremonies – with plants fusing Chinese and Australian culture.

The Alexandra Gardens Island is currently bare but a new look has been revealed.
PHOTO: Amy Clarke

In the design, two round moon gates will be placed at two locations to frame the island scenery looking out towards the Alexandra Gardens.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the new island design celebrates Ararat’s Chinese heritage connection compared to the Japanese theme the bridges display.

“Stepping stones will be placed throughout the plantings, which will include bamboo creating secret paths. As the plants grow and establish, this will enhance the interactive spaces for children to explore and play in,” Dr Harrison said.

The island will include different plants incorporating Chinese and Australia species such as the pomegranate, cherry, ginkgo, grass trees and a red tea tree.

The new design for the Alexandra Gardens Island.

“The design also includes an area that is suited for gatherings including wedding ceremonies, so that will be a great addition for the community to use,” he said.

The council has made the decision to include low-level plants with medium-sized feature trees, staying away from large trees that don’t suit the island’s soil structure.

“We really appreciate the community comments that contributed to this design, so thank you to everyone who gave us feedback,” Dr Harrison said.