Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born 1 Nov 1871, Deep Creek, SA; died on 25 March 1940 in a private hospital in Adelaide, SA.
William Burdett, orchardist and horticulturist, and his wife Esie May (née Walker) (1886-1969), were married on 6 October 1910 and established their Australian and South African species wildflower garden at Basket Range, in the Adelaide Hills, in the late 192Os.
Established after his serious illness and early retirement, the garden matured in the 1930s, becoming a favourite venue for many interstate and overseas visitors. The Burdetts laid out a "wonderful private garden ... of wilderness and garden art combined", where contoured paths meandered through more than 1000 species, including Eucalypts, Erica, and Protea on a seven-hectare rocky spur to arrive at a copse of Pinus radiata (Monterey Pine).
They obtained seeds from Hacketts Nursery and from many correspondents in England and South Afica, maintained a competitive friendship with Edwin Ashby, and sent seeds to Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote in the Cotswolds, UK.
Daughter, May Burdett (1911-1985), self-trained naturalist and horticulturist schooled by the familv's numerous Australian collecting trips and propagation successes maintained the garden following Williams death.
In 1999 the property, then with 400 species recorded, was acquired by members of the Michell family.
Banksia burdettii and Eucalyptus burdettiana honour William Burdett.
Source: by David Jones & John Walter in The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002)
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) : Tue 26 Mar 1940, Page 4
Portrait Photo: none so far.