Date posted: 26 April 2016
The Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide is a volunteer organisation that supports the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, offering guided walks, self-guided trails, tours and community events.
Garden Guides are a trained group of Friends who lead our three Gardens' free guided walks - they're veritable walking encyclopaedias of the Gardens! Here we catch up with Judy Morton, who has been a Guide for 23 years.
BEGINNINGS: I joined the Friends in 1993 to become a Garden Guide after a career in biochemistry research. I studied botany at university, but becoming a Guide really started me on a fascination with the world of plants.
GROWTH: In 1993 there were only 15 Guides. In 2016 we now we have around 60, which is a testimony to their importance to the Gardens. I’m proud to be part of that history.
PEOPLE: As well as meeting interesting people from around the world through guiding, I really appreciate the opportunity to be with the other Guides, who are intelligent, articulate and often funny. I've made some special friends through the Guides!
ROLES: I've served as Guide Leader, Guide secretary and booking officer, as well as Friends secretary. I worked in the Bicentennial Conservatory ticket office for a few years, a position I would not have had without being involved with The Friends. These days grandchildren take precedence so I'm not as active [at the Gardens], but I have become a Visitor Information Centre volunteer recently and this is very rewarding.
PASSIONS: Outside the Gardens, I enjoy travel to places with interesting plants in Australia and overseas. My husband and I have been volunteer rangers at Gluepot Bird reserve [north of Waikerie, SA]. We've also been involved with plant surveys as members of Friends of the Great Victoria Desert. My own garden is a passion, but I also usually have some knitting or embroidery on the go.
WHAT'S NEXT: I’ll be attending the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens' Conference with four other Guides in April. It’s in Geelong and I’m sure will add to the pleasure of being a Friend of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide!