Australia Day

26 January 2015

86 days to go

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Jerry Coleby-Williams

TV gardener and horticultural specialist

Jerry Coleby-Williams is a curator, author, director of the Seed Saver’s Network and patron of Householder’s Options for Protecting the Environment. For the past 13 years Jerry has been a presenter on ABC TV's Gardening Australia.

Jerry started gardening at the age of four and later trained under the Royal Horticultural Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  Jerry is qualified in horticulture, management, conservation, arboriculture, and botanical sciences. In 1982 Jerry was awarded a scholarship to study flora in Western Australia. It was there he discovered new species such as the critically endangered Darwinia polychroma.  

Jerry has managed nurseries, urban forests, heritage parks, London's busiest garden centre and helped establish Mt Annan Botanic Garden—Australia's largest native plant garden. For 11 years, Jerry managed the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. During this time he helped project manage the development of new special collections, including the Sydney Fernery, Herb Garden, HSBC Oriental Garden and the First Encounters Garden.

In 1998, Jerry created the award-winning Rare and Endangered Plants Garden, where he planted the first Wollemi pine. The gardens successfully hosted the 2000 Sydney Olympic Triathlon.

Jerry has been the horticultural consultant for the re-landscaping of St Mary's Cathedral, Central Station, New South Wales Police Memorial and Sydney International Airport. He was also the horticultural consultant behind Flora, Australia's largest illustrated plant dictionary.  

In 2003, Jerry founded Bellis, an award-winning sustainable house and garden in Brisbane. Bellis is part of the Open Gardens Australia scheme and ABC TV regularly films there. The organic food garden is home to 200 productive plants and rare insect species, including a new species of beneficial Leucospis wasp. In 2009, Bellis won a national Save Water Award (built environment), and in 2011 Jerry won a HMA Horticultural Laurel for the Best Technical Television Gardening Segment on how to produce new plant varieties.