Plant Life Balance
Burle Marx

Meet the OG Plant People

Before plantfluencers, there were OG plant people paving the way.

Image: Robert Burle Marx during a botanical expedition in Ecuador, 1974. Photography by Luiz Knud Correia de Araújo.

There are so many throughout history, but here are the ones we adore and admire:

David Attenborough

There are few people more inspiring than David Attenborough. He’s been nature’s champion for decades, continuing to educate and enthral us in the wonders of our world with his dulcet voice and encyclopaedic knowledge. 

Roberto Burle Marx

Known for his spectacular landscape architecture and public urban design, Burle Marx also discovered 35 species of plants. He boasted an incredible plant collection and his love of nature was the driving force behind his work.

Gertrude Jekyll

While most of the 400 gardens she designed have been lost, Gertrude Jekyll’s legacy as a trailblazing garden thinking and painter lives on in her book, Colour in the Flower Garden – a must for lovers of flowers.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Joseph Banks

A member of James Cook’s crew on the Endeavour, it was Joseph Banks who first shared our native flora and fauna so beautifully with the world. He later became one of the most well-known British scientists of all time. Banksia flowers are named after him.

Vita Sackville-West

In 1930 Vita Sackville-West and her husband purchased a rundown farm and slowly turned it into Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent – one of the most famous and influential gardens in the world. And she wasn’t even a professional gardener!

Peter Cundall

Growing up hearing Peter Cundall’s swooning Manchunian accent on Gardening Australia is probably why so many Australians love gardening. He started the first gardening talkback radio show in 1967, and in 1969, was the founding presenter of what is now Gardening Australia. He’s the modern father of Aussie gardens.

Iconic Peter Cundall

🌹🌸 BLOOMIN' MARVELOUS 🌷🌼He may no longer be the host of the ABC's Gardening Australia🌿, but for many of us, Peter Cundall remains one this country's greenest thumbs.Here, he reflects on his time and legacy in the program’s 30th year.

Posted by ABC Riverina on Friday, 15 February 2019

Harriet and Helena Scott

The Scott Sisters are really known for their illustrations of drawings of Australian moths and butterflies – their mission was to catalogue every single one. However, moths and butterflies love flowers and the two sisters’ botanical drawings are just as breathtaking.

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  • You have left out 2 significant horticulturalists of the 20th century.
    Edna Walling was influential via her gardening articles in the magazine Aust Home Beautiful from 1926-1946, and published four successful books – see Aust Dictionary of Biography (ANU) for details.
    Her reputation revived in the 1980s and 1990s as the postwar generation of gardeners learned about her work.
    Esther Dean pioneered the no-dig garden in Sydney in the 1970s and is still quoted today. Her books are still available via the internet. See ABC fact sheets. Permaculture experts in Australia and overseas acknowledge their debt to her innovation. Alan Searle and others on radio were instrumental in spreading the word about her work.