Not a hollyhock in sight: Home gardens of three women in remote Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

In February 2020 I presented a paper at the 13th New Zealand Symposium of Gastronomy and Food held at the Hamilton Gardens.

In this paper I look at the gardens of two women in remote Australia to see what light they throw on how women lived in remote Australia in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. I look at Mary Durack’s garden at Thylungra (pictured above), the Durack property in south west Queensland, using as my source Kings in Grass Castles, the Durack family history written in 1959 by her granddaughter also called Mary. To avoid confusion in what follows, I will call the garden maker Mary, and the author Durack. I look at Myrtle Rose White’s garden at Lake Elder Station in north east South Australia – which renames Noonameena in her 1932 memoir No Roads Go By.

I look at what they grew and what they did with it: what impacted on what they could grow; and what became of the gardens. I also look at what else they ate as it bears on how they lived.

Read the paper here.