A CROQUET lawn, a secret garden and a vegetable patch will be features of the new Bendigo Botanic Gardens play space.
The City of Greater Bendigo set up a stall with plans and information on the new play space at the White Hill gardens on Saturday.
Parents and children gave their feedback to council officers.
The play space will replace an old playground, which was taken down due to safety concerns earlier this year.
It is composed of three main areas- play equipment aimed at two to six-year-olds, a croquet lawn with a herb and vegetable patch and a secret garden with an oversized checkers board.
Picture puzzles to work out plant names will be placed in the vegetable garden and around the play space.
Piles of seeds, acorns and stones will be provided for touching, sorting and stacking activities.
Bendigo Botanic Gardens development officer Gemma Fennell said the new play space was “a garden which functions as a play space”.
City of Greater Bendigo landscape architect Justine Image designed the play space.
"We decided to try out new ideas," she said.
"It's not a standard playground."
Ms Image said she was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the garden's history.
“It is a nod to the fact it is a 19th century garden,” she said.
“That period has a sense of whimsy and playfulness.
“The gardens were central to outdoor life in that time.”
Ms Fennell said the Public Space Design Team received a good response when they showed the proposal to students from two primary schools recently.
“They were very positive," she said.
"They were most excited about the croquet and the secret garden.”
Ms Fennell said there was scope for primary schools to help plant and harvest the vegetable patch in the future.
A number of temporary and permanent programs and activities including treasure hunts, gardening classes and plant craft will also be organised.
She said the team will take on the feedback from the public consultations before finalising the design.
“We hope to have construction underway by next month and have it completed by Christmas,” she said.