The Old Country
The old country

By George Seddon


Published in 2005 by Cambridge University Press, hard cover, 270 pages


Price $A99.00 plus $A13.50 postage within Australia [up to 3 kg], overseas postage please request a quote


ISBN 0521843103 or ISBN 9780521843102

  • Description
  • Table of contents
  • About the author

The Old Country tells us stories about our natural landscape. We discover how much of our history has been tied up with plant exploration, from William Dampier’s first forays at Shark Bay in Western Australia to the amazing recent discovery in the Blue Mountains of the Wollemi Pine, representing a whole new genus. We learn about the statuesque boab of the Kimberley and its interesting relations, and the allure the banksia family holds for artists.


George Seddon believes that the better we understand the delicacy and beauty of our natural environment, the more ‘at home’ we will feel as Australians. He explores garden design, and wonders whether the present trend to Mediterranean plants creates more problems than it solves.


He looks at what ‘native’ or ‘exotic’ or even ‘a weed’ might mean, and concludes that these notions are surprisingly fluid. This passionate, wise and witty book, enriched with breathtakingly beautiful illustrations, suggests that the answers to our water problems lie here, at home.


Table of contents





First encounters

The boab


The conifers

The banksias


On being deciduous

By design



Notes, bibliography, list of illustration, index


About the author


George Seddon AM is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Melbourne and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Western Australia. He has held chairs in four disciplines and taught in universities across Europe and North America.


His recent books include Landprints: Reflections on Place and Landscape (Cambridge University Press, 1996).