Sod turned on Garden for the Future | Pictures

Construction has begun on the new $4.6 million Garden for the Future at the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, after mayor Margaret O’Rourke turned the first sod on Thursday.

Cr O'Rourke said the new two-hectare garden would enhance one of the city's most treasured parkland assets and inspire the imagination of both children and adults.

“The new garden will include a stage and grassed amphitheatre for outdoor performances and cinema, new toilet facilities, and a number of semi-intimate gathering spaces for weddings and corporate functions as well as a promenade that can be used for markets and other events,” she said.

Stage one of the project is funded by a $3.56 million contribution from the City of Greater Bendigo, $1 million from the state government, $20,000 from the Friends of Bendigo Botanic Gardens and $20,000 from the Bendigo Northern District Community Enterprise.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2018.