For some time the Friends had dreams of a home of their own. Secretary Mandy King believed that a meeting room and repository in the Gardens was essential for the groups continued existence. We now have that facility which we call Scoborio’s shed.
Charles Scoborio was the first curator of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens. The gardens were originally located just to the west of the cemetery on a windswept hollow that resisted his best gardening efforts. He resigned. Later, after the Gardens were relocated to the present site, he resumed the role of curator. He continued until his retirement in 1905 aged 79, by which time he had served 41 years as curator. Scoborio and his wife and son lived in the curator’s cottage. This heritage listed residence, built in 1870, is one of Warrnambool’s oldest buildings.
There is a sandstone building at the back of the house with entry from both the back yard and the system garden/works area. The City Council has made this historic building available to The Friends of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens as a work space, meeting room and storage area for their collection. No doubt Scoborio worked in this area and the friends have named it Scoborio’s Shed.
The shed had fallen into disrepair, with leaking spouting and peeling paint work all hidden under a rampant growth of creeper and shiny leaf. The Council undertook to make the shed weather proof. Central Rotary removed the creeper and cleared the exterior. They went on to repair the entrances, paint the interior and polish or carpet the floor.
We had our thank you to Central Rotary and Council on November10. Rotarians, together with Cr Jacinta Ermacora, Mark Mirtchen and the Friends, enjoyed a good hour of fellowship. Pat gave a brief talk, Marigold bought some beautiful Tulip tree flowers, Billy & Judi made some savouries, the girls had some bubbles and the boys had a beer. What could have deteriorated into another derelict ruin has been restored.
Scoborio’s Shed stands as a tribute to a pioneer gardener, a workstation for present day Friends of the Gardens and an example of what community spirit and cooperation can achieve.