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Biographical entry Walling, Edna Margaret (1895 - 1973)

4 December 1895
York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
8 august 1973
Buderim, Queensland, Australia
Landscape gardener


Edna Walling was a landscape designer who was instrumental in the development of an Australian garden style. Having qualified in horticulture as one of the first women to study at the Burnley School of Horticulture in Melbourne, her employment as a jobbing gardener soon transformed into garden designer with many commissions. In her designs she drew inspiration from the Australian bush to create a naturalistic landscape using Australian native plants to great effect. Walling was a prolific and influential writer on horticulture and gardens in popular magazines and books including Gardens in Australia (1943) and A gardener's log (1948). Many of her garden plans are in the collections of the State Library of Victoria.



Life event - Migrated to New Zealand with her family
Life event - Moved to Australia
Education - Graduated from Burnley School of Horticulture, Melbourne

Published resources


  • Dixon, Trisha and Churchill, Jennie, Gardens in time: in the footsteps of Edna Walling, Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, N.S.W., 1988, 134 pp. Details
  • Dixon, Trisha and Churchill, Jennie, The vision of Edna Walling: garden plans 1920 - 1951, Bloomings Books, Hawthorn, Vic., 1998, 150 pp. Details
  • Forsyth, Holly Kerr, Remembered Gardens: Eight Women and Their Visions of an Australian Landscape, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2006, 273 pp. Details
  • Hardy, Sara, The Unusual Life of Edna Walling, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005, 304 pp. Details
  • Watts, Peter, The Gardens of Edna Walling, National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Melbourne, 1981, 136 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Dixon, Trisha, 'Walling, Edna Margaret', in Aitken, Richard and Looker, Michael (eds), The Oxford companion to Australian gardens, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2002, pp. 625-6. Details
  • Jones, David, 'Limestone, Silver Birch, Pelargonium in the Dry State: Uncovering the Designs of Edna Walling in South Australia', in Max Bourke and Colleen Morris (eds), Studies in Australian Garden History, Australian Garden History Society, Melbourne, 2003, pp. 71-89. Details
  • Watts, Peter, 'Walling, Edna Margaret (1895-1973), Garden Designer', in John Ritchie and Diane Langmore (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 16, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2002, pp. 474-476. Also available at Details

Helen Cohn