We are self taught botany enthusiasts and are now widely regarded as world authorities on banksias and the farm has helped put Mount Barker on the world map with:
- Award-wining banksia displays at the Chelsea flower show in U.K.,
- Contributions to the Sydney Para-Olympic bouquets in 2000,
- T.V. appearances on ABC “Gardening Australia” 1995, 2001 & 2007 & the “Today Show” Sydney 1995.
- Several annual banksia displays at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens for regional tourism & floriculture promotion in W.A.
- Articles in prominent publications such as Qantas In-flight and Outback magazines
From humble beginnings in 1990 with a tiny nursery and garden walks with named plants, the business has bloomed to now employ local people and occasionally the hosting of overseas botany and art students.
Steady tourism growth and arrival of buses necessitated the construction of a café/gallery/function centre in 2001 adding to our own designed and built, two- storey granite- panelled homestead. The business now has several arms including:
- Luxurious B&B accommodation,
- Wildflower nursery specialising in banksia, dryandra, and providing other wildflower species,
- Café/gallery for wildflower information and for the display and sale of fine botanical art, craft and food produce, doubling as a Function Centre for weddings, musical concerts, dinner parties, re-unions, anniversaries & industry forums,
- Seed production for local use & export.
- Along with all these activities we have now diversified into writing after receiving a Land & Water Australia Fellowship to write our story. The book “Regeneration with Banksias – developing the skills, extending the interest” is underway.
- We have co-authored, with botanist Alex George, a comprehensive Banksia reference book, “Banksias”. This book was launched November 2008 and is now available. This 376 page book with 400 coloured photos is now available in hard-back and flexi-bind hand-signed copies. Order on our online shop.
Kevin’s enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge and fascinating yarns are shared with wildflower visitors and students of all ages ranging from local pre-school through to PhD students and overseas botanists. Kevin’s botanical talks cover aboriginal usage, history, evolution, school yarns and special features of banksias and their place in the Proteaceae family. Kevin and Kathy welcome visitors to enjoy the hands on sensory Banksia Farm experience.