Holly Kerr Forsyth has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, graduated from the Ryde College of Horticulture, Sydney, and has a PhD in History from the University of New South Wales. As well as writing for a range of mainstream and academic publications, her writing on gardens, art, landscape, environment and social geography was found found, each Saturday until May 2016, in The Weekend Australian.
Holly’s doctoral thesis – titled ‘From the British Pastoral to the Australian Arcadia: Women, Transferred Vision and the Reconstruction of Landscape’ – addresses the ways in which colonial and post colonial women in European-settled Australia reconstructed the landscape they found into their vision of an English Arcadia. Several sub-texts – the garden as a site of power, as a gendered or bounded space, and as a repository of information – run through the dissertation. A discussion of the development, over 200 years, of garden styles, along with fashions in plants and design, provides the background and context to the lives of the eight women who reveal the main themes of the thesis.
The author of eleven books on gardens and gardening, Holly is in demand for speaking engagements around Australia, and overseas, presenting illustrated lectures on her books and on garden history. She is also in demand as an after dinner speaker and as a presenter. She is on the Board of the University of New South Wales Foundation.
As well as being a Constant Gardener, Holly travels the world interviewing other gardeners, and photographing stunning gardens and landscapes, along with garden plants and species found in the wild.
Photos by Holly Kerr Forsyth