Warrnambool Borough Council commissioned William Guilfoyle to provide a plan for the Gardens and approved this plan in1877. The plan provided for wide winding paths, a lake with islands and tropical foliage.
Guilfoyle used palms extensively in his designs. The Canary Island Date Palms, Phoenix canariensis, were planted in the gardens and as street trees. These were the trees that our visiting bat colony favoured for their short sea change in 2004.
There is one Phoenix dactylifera, the palm commercially grown for dates, but it is a male and produces no fruit. The 30m/100ft Washingtonia robusta, tall thin and impressive are fondly known as Skydusters.