Meet our expert tour leaders.
Graham Ross, VMM
Graham is a horticulturist, plantsman and garden media presenter. He started the Garden Clinic Radio Show on 2GB in 1980, and has been gardening presenter on Better Homes & Gardens TV since 1995. He’s also publisher of the Garden Clinic Journal, the magazine of the Garden Clinic Club, Australia’s largest gardening club. Graham is a recipient of the Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in London, only the fourth Australian given this honour since its creation in 1870. Graham’s passion for gardening, travel and people comes together in every Ross Garden Tour.
Sandra is a horticulturist, garden writer, broadcaster and popular tour leader. She has the very enviable task of planning new itineraries for Ross Garden tours, a job which takes her exploring all over Australia and the world. She ensures that well-known gardens are maintaining their good looks, seeks out lesser-known but extraordinary places and finds hotels that offer our groups affordable luxury. Sandra was behind one of our most popular tour developments – four night stays in cities so that guests can unpack and relax. Sandra’s spare minutes are spent in her lovely garden.
After studying landscape architecture Linda began designing gardens in Sydney. It’s something she still squeezes in – between broadcasting on the Garden Clinic radio show on 2GB, editing the Garden Clinic Journal, contributing as garden editor to Women’s Day magazine, presenting popular workshops on edible gardening at Glenmore House, developing her new coastal garden, looking after young Lulu and Flinders, and leading Ross Garden Tours. Phew! Luckily Linda has the unflagging energy of a tropical thunderstorm matched with the serene temperament of a calm sunny day.
Kent is the Managing Director of the Ross family group of companies: The Garden Clinic and Ross Garden Tours International. Kent has been travelling since he was born, joining his father, Graham Ross, on the inaugural Canadian tour in 1985. Since then he has escorted tours to Canada, China, Hawaii, Fraser Island and the Australian outback. Kent opened a branch office of Ross Garden Tours in London in 2006 until 2013. In his spare time Kent is a keen soccer referee with the Football Association, for whom he blows the whistle on the leagues of professional football.
Over his 30 years of designing gardens, working in gardens, and writing about gardens, Michael has not lost a single iota of his enthusiasm for the wonder of growing things, and the sensory and emotional satisfactions offered by really fine gardens. His unique approach to talking about gardens, born of being both botanist and garden designer, has won him many fans of his books ‘Michael McCoy’s Garden’ and ‘The Gardenist’. You can read his musings on gardening at www.thegardenist.com, where you’ll also be impressed by his great photography. Some of his images are reproduced here on the website.
Libby often refers to herself as a gardening ambassador. She believes in the power of gardens to make you feel positive about life and to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. She loves to talk about gardening and write about gardening, and also enjoys the trial and error of pottering in her own garden. She is a qualified horticulturist who has worked in retail nurseries and conducted gardening classes and workshops, and is a regular speaker at garden clubs and other community groups. Libby’s other passions include golf, sailing, swimming, her family (especially a growing band of grandchildren) and having a laugh.
Peter has travel in the blood. He was brought up on tea and coffee plantations in east Africa, finished his schooling at a floating Royal Naval College in London, went to sea as an apprentice, and travelled the world in the British and South African Merchant Marines for 17 years before settling in South Africa. In 1983, he and his wife Hilary moved to Australia and bought Rast Bros Nursery on Sydney’s north shore. Over its 23 years the garden centre developed a reputation for excellence, but in 2007 Peter and Hilary decided it was time for a change. They now travel together, Peter as a Ross Garden tour leader, with Hilary at his side.
Angus has one of the best-known faces, and voices, in the Australian garden media. He has been a presenter for ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program for the past five years and is a regular on ABC702’s Weekend Program on Saturday mornings between 9 and 10am. He has written hundreds of magazine articles and a handful of books. Incredibly he has also found time to develop some new varieties of Australian plants, particularly the Bush Gem series of kangaroo paws, which are now grown around the world. His website offers advice to gardeners keen to use Australian plants: www.gardeningwithangus.com.au
Carolyn gardens in the Southern Highlands of NSW and is passionate about the flora of the district. She is on the Committee of the Friends of Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, a project dedicated to setting up a new botanic garden of 30 acres in Bowral. Carolyn has a Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Design from Ryde College of TAFE and has led many tours to Japan, New Zealand and Scandinavia for Ross Garden Tours. One the great things about Ross tours she says, are the friendships which develop and then carry on over the years as people join up again to explore new places with familiar faces.
Robin has been writing and photographing gardens for newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years and still gets a thrill when she walks through the entrance of a lovely garden. Robin is also a well-known food writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, for which she has been writing about seasonal produce for several years. Her enthusiasm for gardening, food, wine, history and art make her a great tour companion. You can see some of her photographs on this site, and read more of her work in the Garden Clinic Journal, which she edits with Linda Ross.
Colin grew up in England and developed a fascination with Australian plants when he started cultivating seeds sent to him by Australian relatives. He fell in love with the country itself when he visited Perth aged 13, and emigrated 8 years later. Colin is a passionate horticulturalist, landscape designer and gardening communicator. He lectures, appears on television and radio, writes for newspapers and magazines and designs gardens for private clients and for garden shows. His three daughters have caught the garden bug and are contributors to the Garden Clinic Magazine.