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Our Experts

Your booking and all of Botanica’s business is run through the APT Travel Group’s sophisticated management, reservation, accounting and operating systems for your peace of mind. Botanica are highly regarded for the calibre of our guides and lecturers. Our team of expert garden advisors work together to find the best private and iconic gardens to visit around the world. We are proud to boast a stable of highly qualified experts, whether they are a specialist on the area you are visiting or an expert on a specific theme, they will bring an extra dimension to your travel experience.

Sophie thomson

Sophie Thomson

Sophie is a familiar face from ABC's Gardening Australia. She is also a popular gardening author and her latest book Sophie's Patch is a best-seller. The avid horticulturalist's enduring love affair with gardening stems from growing up in the family nursery in the Adelaide Hills.

botanical guide anthea guthrie

Anthea Guthrie

Winner of five RHS gold medals, and many accolades, Anthea is a garden designer and teacher who has exhibited at Chelsea, Gardeners’ World Live, Cardiff and Hampton Court Palace RHS shows. She has travelled all over the world as a speaker on gardens and gardening. She has a special interest in garden history and medicinal plants.

botanical guide simon rickard

Simon Rickard

Simon is one of Botanica’s most experienced guides with an incredible knowledge of gardens. He has acted as Head Gardener for Diggers Club for six years, as well as manage the Garden of St. Erth and Annie Smithers’ Kitchen Garden in Kyneton.

botanical guide judy horton

Judy Horton

Judy has had over a decade of experience as a garden adviser and is the author of two gardening books. Judy was an awarded an OAM for her services to horticulture and is a member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, the Horticultural Media Association and is the Communication Manager for Yates. She is a keen gardener and is currently horticultural editor for the Garden Clubs of Australia magazine.

botanical guide toby musgrave

Toby Musgrave

Dr Toby Musgrave has a passion for horticulture and garden history, which began at a very early age. Toby is an authority on garden history and design, and shares his enthusiasm and knowledge as an author and lecturer on television and radio.

Brian Healy

Brian Healey

Brian is a gifted artist, teacher and linguist who has been inspiring audiences and pupils for many years. Having established his own studio and gallery in France in the 1990s, Brian brings a unique insight into the world of the artist. Combine this with his passion for gardening, travel and European history, his lectures are both entertaining and informative.

botanical guide teena crawford

Teena Crawford

Teena studied horticulture at Burnley in Melbourne. She is the manager of Smith & Gordon in Melbourne, who are suppliers to the retail and landscape industries throughout Australia. Teena is also a gardening journalist and a co-presenter of a radio program.

botanical guide talie kenyon

Talei Kenyon

Since a young age, Talei has had the opportunity to live in parts of Asia and the Pacific, enjoying an introduction to exotic landscapes. She has enjoyed leading a number of international tours with Botanica, sharing her knowledge about plants and garden history.

botanical guide julie prent

Julie Prent

Julie has a Diploma of Horticultural Science from Burnley in Melbourne and has been involved in horticultural education for the last decade. She and her husband have a garden design business and have also grown plants for the nursery and florist industry.

Tracey Foster

Tracy Foster

UK-based Tracy is a garden designer, a garden design tutor as well as bring a show garden judge at shows in Yorkshire. She also runs her own short courses in Leeds. Passionate about gardening since childhood, Tracy has a degree in Plant Biology and many years of practical experience including producing award-winning RHS show gardens.

botanical guide arno king

Arno King

Arno King is a landscape architect and horticulturist based in Brisbane, where he works on a varied range of projects, including home gardens, parks and streetscapes. He is a regular speaker at conferences and teaches horticulture and landscape design. Arno’s passion is planting design and the innovative use of plants in the subtropical climate. He is currently developing an acreage garden where he can experiment with these ideas.

Diggers Club

The Diggers Club

The Diggers Club is Australia’s largest garden club. They are passionate about preserving the best traditions and nurture three historic gardens, all of which we visit on many of our tours. Many of their head gardeners are especially chosen as our Botanical Guides, so you can enjoy their expertise.