During eleven years of researching Georgiana’s life, I’ve learned just a little about the topic that became her life’s work but it’s a tiny fraction of what there is to know. Gardeners, horticulturalists and botanists all seem to have their own particular interests and specialisms so it’s always a great pleasure to receive feedback and information from the people who really know about the indigenous flora of the southwest, where Georgiana was collecting and gardening herself. Like her, they devote their own time with great dedication to seed collecting, propagating and promoting the welfare of the incredibly diverse species of the Capes region in southwest Western Australia.

I’m still learning and still being amazed by the plants, trees, funghi and mosses that grow here around my own home, and in the protected rural places like Bush Reserves, even in remnant bushland that’s retained within developed areas like housing. Here are some of the memories I’ve collected along the way.

Caladenia longiclavata ( Clubbed spider orchid: Augusta, October 2012)

Spider orchid growing in one of Georgiana’s most frequent collecting places, close to her home on the Blackwood River in Western Australia. I’m not an expert on our native orchids so please let me know, botanists, if I’ve identified this one incorrectly!

Boronia molloyae (Tall boronia)

This bright pink-flowered boronia was eventually renamed for Georgiana. She collected it around Fairlawn, growing in sandy, well-drained soil near the river. She wrote that it ‘seeks banks’. This one is in our garden. It’s not as fragrant as its brown-flowered relatives but the vibrant pink petals grow on tall stems and are always warmly […]

Kingia australis

Majestic and very slow-growing, tall specimens may be hundreds of years old. Georgiana was desperately trying to collect the seeds to send to Mangles in the last weeks of her life. If I was ever forced to choose just one favourite West Australian tree or plant, this might just be the one.