Tales of arboreal obsession

Amy Stewart, The Tree Collectors, Tales of Arboreal Obsession, Text Publishing, Melbourne, Australia. 2023, 307 pp. Collecting or putting together a collection of something is a common habit. About 30 to 40% of households engage in some form of collecting behaviour. […]

Food and travel

This week’s review comes to you from Dr Jacqueline Newling, an historian, gastronomer and museum curator. This is not a garden book but one that might be of interest to those who love not only gardens but also the food […]

The World of Mab Grimwade

Sandra Pullman reviews Mab, The World of Mab Grimwade by Thea Gardiner (The Miegunyah Press, Imprint of Melbourne University Publishing Limited, 2023) This beautiful book celebrates the life of Mabel Louise Grimwade née Kelly (1887–1973). The author, Thea Gardiner, gives […]

Historic Gardens of Perth

The West Australian Branch is pleased to announce that Historic Gardens of Perth: European Settlement to Modernism is now available for purchase. With approximately 200 hundred pages of historic photographs, maps, plans, artworks and text, Historic Gardens of Perth: European settlement to Modernism, […]


Caroline Ball, A Splendour of Succulents & Cacti: Illustrations from an Eighteenth-Century Botanical Treasury  (Oxford, 2023) reviewed by Clive Probyn, OAM In Henry Handel Richardson’s now classic Australian autobiographical novel, The Getting of Wisdom (1910), the novelist looks back at […]

Personal stories of plants

Poppy Fitzpatrick reviews The Plant Thieves: Secrets of the Herbarium (NewSouth, 2023) by Prudence Gibson. This book takes us on a journey of unexpected discovery. What begins as a seemingly simple interrogation of the collecting and cataloguing of plants within […]

Catching the light

Trevor Nottle reviews John Glover, Patterdale Farm and the Revelation of the Australia Landscape by Ron Radford, Ovata Press, Launceston, 2023 John Glover’s painting A View of the artist’s house and garden at Mills Plains, van Dieman’s Land, 1835  brings to […]

Backyard Mangoes

In something a little different for the book blog, below is an article on mangoes, reproduced with the kind permission of the Queenslander House | House Histories | Queensland, a website about Queensland’s vernacular architecture and suburban history. It’s high […]

A Faustian bargain

Max Bourke, AM reviews The Sacrificial Valley – Coal’s Legacy to the Hunter, by John Drinan, Bad Apple Press (2022); available from sacrificialvalley@gmail.com The author of this book is first and foremost a ‘Hunterian’, his family having  lived in the […]

The real Miss Willmott

Miss Willmott’s Ghosts by Sandra Lawrence, Blink Publishing, 2022 Reviewed by Clare Gleeson Who could not be fascinated by the story of Ellen Willmott? An eccentric gardener, with what were seemingly endless resources, she made not one but three magnificent gardens […]