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    -Edna Margaret Walling was born on the 4th of December in Yorkshire, England. The birth was not recorded until January 1896 at St Catherine's House hence discrepancies by authors as to her date of birth.


    -Second daughter born to William (who had hoped for a boy) and Margaret Walling. He taught the tomboy Edna woodwork, perspective and scale.


    -Raised in the village of Bickleigh, Devon, Edna and her father enjoyed the country walks. The English gardens and countryside she loved are reflected in her garden designs.

    -One English garden visited was Gertrude Jekyll's Deanery Garden, Sonning. Edna later named her own Australian home Sonning. Jekyll's influence is evident in Walling's design.


    -The Walling family migrated to New Zealand.
    -The migration was prompted by a series of events including the loss of her father's business to fire. Edna witnessed this fire and, strangely, would later lose two homes in devastating fires herself.

    -Walling spent a year on a Kituna country station working as a cook and a cleaner.

    -After this 'education', Edna turned to nursing in a private hospital in Christchurch. Although she enjoyed nursing she ceased her studies to join her parents who had migrated to Melbourne, Australia.

    -Immigrated to Melbourne, Australia. Home to the Wallings was Arundel, a large boarding house in Commercial Road, South Yarra.

    -Attended Burnley Horticultural College as a full-time student from the 4th of September, 1916. Full-time female students were relatively new to the college, however part-time students were mainly women. Gardening and its design were seen as part of a housewife's duties and a feminine interest. "The instruction is arranged to suit women students in particular, but male students may also attend." Burnley Garden Prospectus, 1918.

    -Received a pass mark of 78% at Burnley and was rewarded with certificate 44, the Certificate of Competency in Horticulture, on the 19th of December 1918.
    -Worked as a jobbing gardener - "After leaving that school I found myself having to earn my living 'doing' people's gardens - not quite 'doing them in' but almost. However they all appreciated my straight eye...and my strength..."
    -Inspired by the sight of a stone wall supporting a semi-circular terrace - "From then on, gardens for me became a chance to carry out the architectural designs in my head ..."


    -Produced her first known gardening plan for Mr L. Heath, Linlithgow Rd, Toorak.

    -Bought three acres of land at Mooroolbark and began building her first home, Sonning. Sonning was built from local and second hand materials.

    -Bought 18 acres of land adjacent to Sonning. This land and the houses she was to build were to become the village of Bickleigh Vale based on her "scheme for the establishment of a model Devonshire village..."

    -Began working with Eric Hammond (renowned construction contractor).
    -First article in The Home 1/12/24. Co-authored with Katherine Ballantyne sister of the architect Cedric Ballantyne, who recommended Walling for one of her first garden design commissions.

    -Wrote articles for The Australian Women's Mirror, The Australian Home Builder and The Australian Home Beautiful.
    -Designed her first country garden, Wairere near Mansfield, Victoria, commissioned by Major and Mrs Rutledge. She lived with the Rutledge family for three months while the garden was constructed. A plan of this garden was published in Australian Home Beautiful in February 1926.

    -Built The Cabin at Bickleigh Vale, with Blanche Sharp, her bookkeeper. Wrote about this in How we put up our Little Stone Cabin, Australian Home Beautiful, May 1928.

    -Designed the lily pond for Coombe Cottage, Dame Nellie Melba's residence in Coldstream, Victoria.
    -Constructed The Barn, later to become her home in Bickleigh Vale.

    -Commissioned to design Durrol for Mrs Stanley Allen, Mount Macedon, Victoria. This is one of Walling's most significant gardens.

    -Designed the garden at Cruden Farm, for Mrs Keith Murdoch (now Dame Elizabeth), Langwarrin, Victoria.


    -Designed first garden in Adelaide, South Australia.
    -Commissioned by Mrs McMillan and the Misses Marshall to design Mawarra, Mt Dandenong, Victoria. Later she was to write that this was her most beautiful design.

    -Gwynnyth Crouch began work for Walling as assistant, and lived at Sonning.

    -Began working relationship with Ellis Stones, a stone worker. Ellis Stones went on to forge his own career in stonework and landscape design.

    -Fire destroyed Sonning. On a windy day, while Gwynnyth Crouch and Walling were away, sparks from the fire were blown onto paper lying nearby and the house burnt to the ground. Poor water pressure meant that not much was saved. Walling made plans for Sonning II that same night.
    -Designed the Marshall Garden, for Blanche Marshall (nee Sharp) Heidelberg, Victoria, This was her most informal suburban garden.

    -Undertook major commissions in Hobart, Tasmania.
    -Designed three of her most significant gardens: Eurambeen, Beaufort, Victoria, for Mrs Theo Beggs; Boortkoi for Mr Andrew Manifold, Hexham, Victoria; and the Carnegie garden for Mr and Mrs Douglas Carnegie, Toorak, Victoria.

    -First trip to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.


    -Gave radio talk on the ABC - On Making a Garden.

    -Opened her garden for various fundraising activities for the Red Cross war effort and the Women's Land Army.

    -Spoke on the Women's Session with Claire Mitchell, about landscape design.

    -Gardens in Australia her first book, was published.

    -Cruden Farm garden burnt by bushfire. The famous row of lemon scented gum trees lining the driveway were blackened, but survived.

    -Cottage and Garden in Australia, her second book, was published.
    -First visit to the Grampians, Victoria.

    -A Gardener's Log, her third book, was published.
    -Bought land at East Point, Lorne in southern, coastal Victoria and began building a house. Wrote about her time at Lorne and the house she built. The manuscript, The Happiest Days of My Life, was never published.
    -Stopped writing her column Letters to Garden Lovers for The Australian Home Beautiful but continued to contribute articles about gardens, design and personal anecdotes until 1950.

    -Designed villages at Port Pirie, South Australia and Mount Kembla, NSW, for Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd. The Mount Kembla village was built, but the Port Pirie village never eventuated.


    -Discontinued all writing for The Australian Home Beautiful.
    -Began correspondence with Jean Galbraith, Australian botanist and writer.

    -Moved to The Barn, a smaller cottage at Bickleigh Vale. Walling was "tired of looking after three acres".
    -The ABC broadcast two Walling talks: Improving the Farm and Curing Erosion and The Farmers' Friends.
    -Offered her three blocks of land at Lorne to the Field Naturalist's Club.
    -Began designing gardens using only Australian native plants.

    -The Australian Roadside, her fourth book, was published.

    Late 1950s
    -Glen Wilson taken on as a paying student.

    -Designed garden for Arnold Roberts in Buderim, Queensland.

    -Began friendship with the landscape architect Mervyn Davis, and the photographer and war heroine, Daphne Pearson.
    -Declined invitations to join the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and the Australian Society of Authors saying: "...I am not a writer. I merely made a record of the work I had done..."

    -Wrote numerous letters to the editors of various newspapers on conservation issues.

    -Began collating photographs for a "book of famous people", an album of photographic portraits now held by the National Gallery of Victoria.

    -Left Melbourne for a small cottage, Bendles, at Buderim, Queensland.


    -Died 8th August. Buried at Buderim Cemetery.


    -On the Trail of Australian Wildflowers published posthumously with the aid of Jean Galbraith and the illustrator, Moira Pye.

    -Play about Walling's life, Edna for the Garden, by Suzanne Spunner, performed in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne.

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