Real World Gardener Who Was William Guillfoyle?

June 7th, 2018


William Guilfoyle

How’s your garden history knowledge?

You may have heard of Gertrude Jekyll, an Australian Garden Designer of some note, but have you heard of William Guillfoyle?


Melbourne Botanic Gardens' Volcano planting photo : Stuart Read


Possibly not, but this next segment is about to change all that.

Why are we talking about William Guillfoyle?

Because first and foremost, he had a lot to do with making Melbourne Botanic gardens the beautiful space it is today.

Let’s find out some history

I'm talking withStuart Read committee member of the Australian Garden History Society.


William Guillfoyle was not a botanist, but a horticulturalist, so had a different view of how a botanic garden should be presented to the public.

He came from a family of nurserymen/women and first worked in his parents' famous " Exotic" nursery in Double Bay.


Melbourne Botanic gardens volcano planting photo : Stuart Read

The Exotic nursery was one of the major nurseries in Sydney from the 1840's and imported thousands of Fuchsias, conifers, and ferns

. Plus it also had collections of Australian plants grown from seed collected on expeditions.

Guillfoyle was Director of Melbourne Botanic Gardens from 1873 - 1910

Plus, William was responsible for making available all those Jacaranda seedlings which now make Sydney and many regional centres so popular with Jacaranda tours in November.


If you have any questions either for me or Sotuart, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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