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5 Gardens with Literary Links

Discover some of the many gardens around the world that have inspired writers including Colleen McCullough and P. L. Travers.

The Roman statesman Cicero’s saying, “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need,” certainly rings true at Botanica. Gardens have always and will continue to provide inspiration to some of the world’s most famous literary figures. Explore some fascinating gardens with a literary connection on a journey with Botanica.


View of Heritage Buildings on Norfolk Island, Australia

Norfolk Island – Colleen McCullough’s Island Home

Australian author Colleen McCullough was best known for her novels, The Thorn Birds and The Ladies of Missalonghi. In the late 1970s Colleen moved to Norfolk Island, where she met her husband. She enjoyed the tranquillity of the island and her garden where she spent the remainder of her life. Visit on Botanica’s 8 Day Norfolk Island History & Gardens trip.

Queensland, Australia – Mary Poppins House

On the Darling Downs is the childhood home of Helen Lyndon Goff, who is better known as P. L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. The family moved to Allora in 1905 where they lived until her father died in 1907. The home was made famous by the 2013 movie of Travers’ life, Saving Mr Banks. Visit on Botanica’s 7 Day Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers trip.

Image of Mary Poppins House Allora
Image of Hamilton India Themed Garden

Hamilton, New Zealand – Katherine Mansfield Garden

The famed New Zealand writer wrote a short story titled The Garden Party in 1922 which was to become one of her most celebrated books. The setting of the story is thoughtfully replicated in Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. Visit on Botanica’s 11 Day New Zealand Private Gardens and Landscapes trip.

The Berkshires, USA – The Mount, Edith Wharton's former home

Edith Wharton was a famous American novelist and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Wharton described her home by saying, “On a slope over-looking the dark waters and densely wooded shore of Laurel Lake we built a spacious and dignified house, to which we gave the name of my great-grandfather’s place, the Mount ... there for 10 years I lived and gardened and wrote contentedly.” Visit on Botanica’s 20 Day Mansions and Gardens of Canada and New England in Fall trip including Nova Scotia and the Brandywine Valley.

Image of USA The Mount garden fountain
Image of Alnwick castle where Harry Potter was filmed

Northumberland, England - Alnwick Castle, the set of Harry Potter

Famous for being the location of ‘Hogwarts’ in the first two Harry Potter movies, this fascinating castle in the UK is also home to a very unique garden, the Poison Garden – filled exclusively with around 100 toxic, intoxicating and narcotic plants. Visit on Botanica’s 7 Day Gardens and Landscapes of Yorkshire and Central England trip.