Illustrator Mel Baxter, AKA Moonshine Madness, lives in a wooden house perched high among the gum trees on Turrbal country in Clear Mountain, Queensland.
Her latest book 100 Australian Wildflowers is a glorious and delightful tribute to Australia's native flora in all its beauty and quirkiness. Filled with stunning and intricate illustrations, the book makes you want to head out into the bush and riverbanks, the hills and rocky places, tome in hand to identify the gaudy or modest, the tiny or triumphant, endearing plants and flowers that adorn our vast land.
100 Australian Wildflowersis a beautifully illustrated book that can be used as a handy field and planting guide, as well as being a visual feast for the eyes.
Through fanciful botanical illustrations, matched with fun and detailed descriptions, author and illustrator Mel Baxter guides you through 100 native Australian flowering plants.
These wildflowers tell stories of cultural, historical and spiritual significance, and in some cases, planting these species in suitable conditions may help tackle some of the environmental issues we face.
Each flower's profile takes an intimate look at its habitat, and the exciting and dramatic lives of some of the flora and fauna that exist around it.
Profiles also include traditional and edible uses by First Nations people, with many of the plant names listed in First languages.
"We know that the intricate relationships between animals and plants are essential for our survival. Over a third of our food comes from flowering plants that are pollinated by animals and almost 90 per cent of the world's plants need animals for pollination.
Mel's passion for the environment shines through the book as she addresses caring for country, growing wildflowers and native trees in residential gardens, composting and encouraging wildlife into our lives.
The book has instructions for creating a free range worm farm, planting a wildflower meadow and it explains flower anatomy and botanical nomenclature, or as Mel says - the fancy words.
Our country is vast, expansive and sometimes a little wild and unpredictable. Our native flowers have adapted to its wild ways and are peppered throughout all the lands. To see each one of these blooms in real life, we would have quite the road trip to make. So, while we plan that said road trip, reminisce on past ones or enjoy a current adventure, here is a small collection to inspire and intrigue. Make them your new friends, put them on your to-see list and, in some cases, have them round in your own backyard.
Take a trip through the Australian bush with 100 Australian Wildflowers and be inspired to cultivate your own relationship with wildflowers and connect with Australia's landscapes.
The flower illustrations in the book are grouped into colours, with those with multiple colours grouped by their most prominent hue.
About the author
Mel Baxter (aka Moonshine Madness) has been a freelance designer and illustrator for 15 years and is inspired by the Australian bush, celebrating it in her work.
Through her colourful and nostalgic illustrations, Mel also focuses on educating her audience on conservation, and sustainable and regenerative practices. Her artwork has appeared in various publications, as well as on postcards, prints, tea towels, clothing and even beer cans.
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100 Australian Wildflowers is published by Hardie Grant Publishing.