Life is a garden…all of that constant curating, planting, weeding, leaving fallow, the intensive bed preparation, seed sowing and productivity. The sharing of food produce and making of friends. The observations gleaned over a lifetime of looking after soil and caring for ecosystems.
Yes, life is a garden!
Please enjoy this article published in the Australian Garden History Journal, Vol.33, No.4, April 2022.
I have grown large food gardens in every place I have lived, but none so special as that which I grew in Lune River, Far South Tasmania, with my family, for over 20 years.
This is a story of a pioneering garden juxtaposed with the creative community response to the threat to the ‘French Garden’ nearby at Recherche Bay, planted by Felix LaHaye from the 1792/3 d’Entrecasteaux expedition to these shores. I was one of many involved in the Recherche Bay Campaign, and am very proud of all of our efforts to protect and highlight the natural and cultural values of this cultural historical landscape.
This experience has deeply informed my artwork, leading to my 2018 Churchill Fellowship and the fabric and wallpaper designs which I am producing today from my Hobart studio.
I have enjoyed collaborating with Jess Adams of Adamsography in the writing and editing of my story for this article. Thanks to the Nina Crone Writing Fund from the Australian Garden History Society for enabling this collaboration. Thanks also to Francesca Beddie, editor of the Journal.
Note: Please contact AGHS for permissions if interested in reprinting this article.
Upcoming 2022 AGHS Annual Conference
I also look forward to speaking at the conference, ‘Landscape on the Edge,’ in Hobart on 11-13 November. Conference bookings open in May.
To read more about botanical histories, click here to find my article ‘The XX Chromosomes of Botany’.
Further reading (article addendum)
Book references are clickable to view listing on National Library of Australia or similar.
- 2018 Churchill Fellowship Report
- Edward Duyker, Citizen Labillardière – A Naturalist’s Life in Revolution and Exploration: 1755-1834 (Carlton, Victoria: Miegunyah Press, 2003).
- FK Jouffroy-Gauja, J.P.Beaulieu, J.C.Donatowiczet, Secret Garden at Recherche Bay – 1792 (Hobart, Tasmania: Ancient Art of the South Seas, 2016).
- Helen Gee, River of Verse: A Tasmanian Journey 1800-2004 (Buckland, Tasmania: Back River Press, 2004).
- John Mulvaney, The Axe Had Never Sounded (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2007).
- John Mulvaney & Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe, Rediscovering Recherche Bay (Canberra: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2007).
- Bob Brown, Tasmania’s Recherche Bay (Hobart: Green Institute, 2005).
- Bruce Poulson, Recherche Bay: A Short History (Southport, Tasmania: Southport Community Centre, 2004).
- Bertrand Daugeron, À la Recherche de l’Espérance: Revisiter la rencontre des Aborigènes tasmaniens avec les Français (1772-1802) (Ars apodemica, 2014).