Gardener’s legacy a growing success
THE life of celebrity gardener Kim Morris will be remembered at the Chinese Friendship Garden he helped design on Monday next week. The landscape designer and
Cairns Post garden columnist died on Wednesday morning after losing an extended battle with lymphoma.
Tributes from colleagues in the garden industry remember the 68-year-old as a trailblazing green thumb who was an innovator whose encouraging and engaging nature was regarded as his biggest strength.
Michael Casey of the Australian Institute of Horticulture described the Cairnsbased horticulturist as the “backbone of the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) since 2006”. The Queensland president of the Horticultural Media Association of Australia, Kim Rabbidge, told the
Cairns Post Mr Morris had an “insatiable appetite for knowledge and a deep love of everything horticultural”.
“He inspired all he came in contact with. He was irreverent and witty . . . and there has been an amazing number of people he has touched in all areas of horticultural industry,” she said.
His brother Mark remembers him as having a dry wit that sometimes did offend.
“To this day I can’t work out why he had so many friends who love him. It’s truly amaz- ing,” he said. Kim Morris was born and grew up in Sydney and began professional life as a food industry salesman.
He came to Cairns when he was about 20 for a holiday and rang his boss from the Far North to say he would not be returning to Sydney. He lived in Queensland ever since.
In the early days of his tropical immersion Mr Morris started up a nursery at Clifton Beach specialising in all kinds of bougainvillea, which at the time was his favourite plant.
He worked and lived at the Northern Beaches for 20 years.
Mr Morris never married and never had children. He is survived by sister Kerry and brothers Jay and Mark.
A private family funeral has been requested, but Mayor Bob Manning has granted the use of the Chinese Friendship Garden on Greenslopes Street in Cairns North, which Mr Morris helped design, for a public service.
Well-wishers from across the country are expected to attend on Monday from 3-5pm.
Mr Casey of the AIH said: “It was an honour working alongside Kim and (I) sincerely hope his legacy will continue to provide strength, energy and inspiration to all in our institute and the industry broadly”.
He was the driving force behind the creation of the Registered Horticulturist program and he was responsible for the negotiation and signing of the first memorandum with Singapore National Parks Board.
TRAILBLAZER: Far North gardening expert Kim Morris.