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Mary is a warm and witty speaker who talks honestly about her life and adventures as a journalist, television presenter and international tour and trekking guide. She became passionate about organic gardening in her mid-twenties and her career changed when she started writing and editing gardening books and magazines to inspire others. She spent ten years as a weekly presenter on the ABC’s Gardening Australia then, aged fifty, she ran away from her work and family to spend six months living alone in a French village. She is passionate about connecting children to the natural environment through walking and gardening.
I was born in Sydney and grew up barefoot at Balmoral Beach.
I have worked as a film publicist and in the media department of a television channel (Ch 9). While saving to travel in my twenties I worked nights as a barmaid and have also been an early morning radio newsreader. I had a brief stint on a daytime television chat show (an eye-opening experience) and have led numerous groups on botanical and cultural treks in the Himalayas and High Atlas Mountains.
Living life to the full and embracing change. Giving birth, raising children and coping with death and loss are also frequently written about. The joys and healing powers of being with nature while working in a garden.
Meeting people and talking about shared passions has been the most satisfying aspect of my career. Walking through towns and villages in remote corners of the world always excites me.
Mainly in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Many of my gardening books have been translated and published in various European countries.
I care deeply about people and the problems of social inequality. I have eleven grandchildren and am concerned about the future – environmental and economic.
You might have seen me recently with Costa on an episode of Gardening Australia.
After the death of my husband I sold our farm and now live in a three generational family with my youngest son and his wife and children. I am a great believer in this concept of families coming together after loss.