Jerry Coleby-Williams

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Jerry Coleby-Williams presenting a talk at Organic Expo in Melbourne July 2009

Jerry Coleby-Williams is an Australian conservationist, horticulturalist and plant curator. He has been a presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia since 1999.[1] He is the director of the Seedsavers Network [2] and an Executive Member of the Queensland Conservation Council.[3]

Coleby-Williams was born in London. He first trained with the Royal Horticultural Society before going on to study a Diploma in Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[1] He then worked in a variety of horticultural positions around London in the private and public sector. In 1992 he emigrated to Australia, following his ongoing passion for West Australian wildflowers.[1] This led to his work at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney as Senior Horticultural Supervisor for Displays and Connections. In this position he researched and designed the Garden's Rare and Threatened Plants Garden,[4] which in 1999 received an award of excellence from the Australian Institute of Horticulture.[5]

In 2003 he moved to Brisbane, Queensland in order to establish a sustainable house and garden with his partner, Jeff Poole.[6] This house – "Bellis" - provides a model for ways in which urban Western citizens can reduce their ecological footprint, and adapt to climate change and peak oil.[7]

Coleby-Williams is extensively involved in publishing about gardening in Australia. He is the horticultural editor of Organic Gardener magazine. He was also the consultant for content and one of the writers of the book, Gardening Australia - Flora: the gardener's bible, which is Australia’s largest illustrated plant dictionary.[8]

Jerry Coleby-Williams is best known for his contribution to environmentalism.[2] His model of sustainable horticulture provides a bridge between conservation and horticulture. In 2009 he won the Australian Savewater Awards for the Built Environment Category.[9] He is also noted for his discovery of a new plant species, the Harlequin Bell (Darwinia polychroma), which is an endangered species from Western Australia.[10]


  1. ^ a b c ‘Meet the Team: Jerry Coleby-Williams’, Gardening Australia
  2. ^ a b ‘Our people’, The Seedsavers Network,
  3. ^ ‘Grow local’, Queensland Conservation Council,
  4. ^ 'Feature gardens', Botanic Gardens Trust,
  5. ^ Australian Institute of Horticulture,
  6. ^ "Super soaker". Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-06-08. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  7. ^ ‘Welcome to Bellis’,
  8. ^
  9. ^ ‘Winners – National 2009 savewater! Awards’, savewater,
  10. ^ Darwinia polychroma — Harlequin Bell, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts - Threatened Species and Ecological Communities,

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