Meet our expert tour leaders.
Graham Ross, AM 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.
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.
Brent Reid is the founder and principal designer of Melbourne based Landscape Design Company Candeo Design. Brent is proud of his passion for Plants and Horticulture and has a great appreciation for the art of architecture. More than half of Brent’s life has been devoted to landscape design and horticulture, the other half to basketball, these two passions rarely mix.
Libby sees gardening as preventative medicine. She changed career in pharmacy in the ’90s and has worked ever since in all aspects of horticulture as a garden tour leader and garden writer for numerous publications. She wrote a basic gardening course and opened a school called ‘Budding Gardeners’ helping people improve their soil and enjoy gardening. Libby has also been a ‘Talking Friends’ volunteer at Sydney’s Botanic Gardens for more than ten years. As a tour leader Libby has seen the world through its gardens and followed her love of the natural world. She is an energetic ‘peoples person’, thoroughly enjoys taking her travellers to beautiful places, and has lead tours for the Ross family since 2001.
Paul Urquhart is an accomplished garden writer with several published books, including The New Native Garden and Small by Design.
He has been gardening editor of Australian lifestyle magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Australian House and Garden, Home Beautiful, and editor of Your Garden.
A passionate lover of travel and gardens, Paul has visited gardens in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America including leading tours to France, England, South America and China.
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.
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.
Kirsty is a horticulturist with a passion for travel! Kirsty lived in the USA for 10 years where she ran garden tours throughout the Northeast. She’s also taken groups to Sicily, France, England and Scotland.
Claire is well known for her enthusiastic presenting, writing, broadcasting and educating on her favourite topics; gardening, chooks, children and all things related to sustainability and nature.
She writes for many publications including regular articles in Earth Garden and Good Organic Gardening Magazines. Claire is a regular presenter of gardening and sustainability topics on ABC Radio Brisbane.
Angie Thomas is the Communications Manager for Yates and has been a horticulturist for more than 25 years. She writes for several gardening magazines, appears on national radio to talk about gardening, has written three Yates gardening books and edited the Yates Garden Guide. Angie is an avid gardener and is passionate about growing food and flowers, as well as filling her home with indoor plants. She is a keen and cheerful traveller and loves inspiring people to experience the joys of gardening.