Elizabeth's story

Wednesday 21 September, 2011
Elizabeth GeorgePhoto by Francis Andrijich

“I remember visiting Liffey Falls as a child – what a special place that valley is.

Years later, I heard about Bob Brown trying to buy the bush blocks nearby, to save them from the loggers. I thought I would try to help. I couldn’t bear the hought of that beautiful area being lost. I always had a love for nature, which comes from my childhood. 

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Later in my life, my connection with Bush Heritage found a new thread. I had moved to Western Australia, where I was introduced to a beautiful, delicate-looking flower called verticordia, or featherflower as it is known.

Verticordia flowers in handVerticordia flowers. Photo by Elizabeth Lescheid

Verticordias come in almost every colour. I became so fascinated by their beauty and diversity that I spent ten years compiling a reference collection about them, with the help of more than 250 other volunteers, and wrote a book.

I also helped to instigate the Wildflower Society of WA’s flora and vegetation survey at Eurardy, a comprehensive field herbarium which is still referenced regularly today.

In 1992, I had a call from Margaret and Bruce Quicke, who owned Eurardy Station at the time, asking me to help identify an unusually maroon-magenta coloured verticordia.

The flower was new and intriguing. It was half way between two very different species. It was given species rank and named verticordia x eurardyensis. I was blown away by the wildflowers at Eurardy.

Euradi Station Reserve wildflower sceneEurardy Reserve wildflowers. Photo: Julian Fennessy

Margaret and Bruce had long ago decided not to crop the area because of the beautiful garden of flowers and bushland that had regenerated there, still known today as Margaret’s Garden.

Over the years we made several trips to see how the verticordias were surviving. When Margaret and her family decided to sell Eurardy, I heard some potential buyers wanted to run horses or goats on it.

Needless to say, I was not thrilled about that, so I rang Bush Heritage and asked if they could be interested in buying it.

Thankyou for 20 years of conservation

I am so pleased Eurardy has been saved. I think Bush Heritage has succeeded in reaching their 20-year anniversary because of the properties they’ve chosen and the way they have managed them. I’ve been very privileged to see the bushland in good times and bad. It has been a wonderful adventure.”

Eurardy Reserve was acquired in 2005 with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy.

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