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Home > What's on > The Life and Work of Edna Walling

The Life and Work of Edna Walling

Onsite and Online

16 April 2024, 6:30pm8:00pm
Bookings Bookings required
Location Conversation Quarter
State Library Victoria

If you've walked through a garden with low stone walls, mossy boulders, meandering paths, self-seeding flowers and groves of silver birches, the design has likely been influenced by Edna Walling.

At a time when most women were expected to be homemakers, Edna Walling was pioneering landscape architecture in Australia, designing enchanting gardens across the country for notable clients like Dame Nellie Melba, Dame Elizabeth Murdoch and Sir Frank Packer. Despite her professional profile, Edna lived a very private life that was only revealed after her death.

Join us at the Library as we shine a light on the life and iconic work of Edna Walling, hosted by expert horticulturalist Millie Ross (Gardening Australia), in conversation with Edna Walling experts Sara Hardy and Trisha Dixon.

After the discussion, explore a curated selection of special items from Edna Walling's life and career that are now held in the Library's collection, including garden design plans, photographs, books and articles.

Book your spot now.

About Millie Ross

Millie Ross is a professional horticulturist, garden designer, writer and broadcaster. As an innovative gardener with an unconventional approach, Millie specialises in creative construction, sourcing local, low-cost materials and using plants in unusual ways. Author of The Thrifty Gardener, a practical guide to building the garden you want with whatever you've got, Millie aims to get everyone growing!

Millie joined the Gardening Australia team behind the scenes as a researcher and writer in 2009. She has worked as the program's senior researcher for the last five years. 

About Sara Hardy

Sara Hardy is a biographer, playwright, and former actor. Born in Devon, England, Sara performed with various theatre companies in London before arriving in Australia. She was inspired to write her first biography, The Unusual Life of Edna Walling, after portraying Edna Walling in an outdoor theatre performance in Melbourne.

Sara's most recent publication is A Secretive Life, a novel that explores the glittering but dangerous LGBTQ+ underworld of the 20th century with adventures set in London, Berlin, and Melbourne – where Edna Walling makes a cameo appearance.

About Trisha Dixon

Trisha Dixon is a writer and photographer with a passion for landscape, literature, music, art, architecture, design and history. She is an experienced tour leader in Australia and abroad and has a number of books to her name, including Adagio: Living and Gardening Mindfully (2013) and Under the Spell of Ages (2007).

She's also co-authored two books with Jennie Churchill on the life and designs of Australian landscaper Edna Walling: The Vision of Edna Walling: Garden Plans 1920-1951 (1998) and Gardens in Time: In the Footsteps of Edna Walling (1988). Her photography has been featured in a number of publications.


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