My Growing Passion
 by Margare
t Morgan

Biophilia: To explore and affiliate with life is a deep and complicated process 

in mental development. To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, 

our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it, 

hope rises on its currents. --Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia.


Our New House in the bush

My New Garden

My New Pond (Updated!) 

Small Things (New!)

Plant Science Internship Program, National Herbarium of New South Wales (

My New Science Course

The Gorgeous Things I Did in My Horticulture Courses.

Native Ponds (and Swimming Pools Converted to Very Big Native Ponds) and the Amazing Things that Live in Them.

My Old Herb and Vegie Patch

Insect Gallery

Gardening Australia Expo, 2006--Angus Stewart's Native Garden

Native Orchids

Excellent Links

Excellent Books

One of the Sydney Blue Gums (Eucalyptus saligna) in our old backyard. It's home to a range of birds and marsupials.

Throughout this site and related blog, you can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them. Photos are taken by me unless otherwise indicated or where they relate to books or products I recommend, in which case I trust the copyright holders won't object to my using them. If you'd like to use my images, feel free, although a credit and a link would be appreciated. Please don't use the images here taken by others without permission.

If you've suggestions for links on this site (preferably non-commercial), please let me know.

Email me
at monocotyledon AT gmail DOT com.

Welcome to my Growing Passion Website.

This is the companion site to my
Growing Passion Blog.

I hope you'll visit both. They're meant to be complimentary, with some tasters and chat on
the blog, and more detail and photos here.
They're devoted to my delight in horticulture,
Australian indigenous plants, botany, native animals,
ecology and conservation.

Lambertia formosa

We live on Sydney's upper upper North Shore, on the city's very outskirts. Our new back garden adjoins Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

I've now finished studying Horticulture at TAFE. Much as I loved it, undertaking the Plant Science Internship Program at the National Herbarium of New South Wales in the first months of this year completely spoilt me. I need more science! 

I'm now enrolled at Macquarie University in a B.Sc in Conservation and Biodiversity, and shortly take up a position at the National Herbarium, working on its bryophyte collection and Australia's Virtual Herbarium, a project that provides online access to the country's plant specimen data, using the resources of all the nation's herbaria.

My other career is writing. For details of productions, broadcasts, recordings and publications, see my other website, Heliotrope. A CD of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's recording of my last work, "Night and Dreams: the Death of Sigmund Freud" (with composer Andrew Ford) is being released this year. Details closer to the date.

My first career was as a lawyer, but that's so dull I won't inflict it on you--or me. As my old mate Rex says, a career path of Law, Letters and Leaf Litter. Hey, it works for me.



Pogona barbata, Eastern Bearded Dragon
at Mount Annan Botanic Gardens

"If you would be happy your whole life long,
Become a gardener."
--Old Chinese Proverb

Biophilia is a word I love, but here's another: viriditas. It's first recorded use is apparently by the composer and writer Hildegard von Bingen in C11th CE, but more recently by the author Kim Stanley Robinson. From Green Mars, the second in his trilogy about the colonisation and terraforming of Mars:

Look at the pattern this seashell makes. The dappled whorl, curving inward to infinity. That's the shape of the universe itself. There's a constant pressure, pushing toward pattern. A tendency in matter to evolve into ever more complex forms. It's a kind of pattern gravity, a holy greening power we call viriditas, and it is the driving force in the cosmos. Life, you see.

In my terms, mathematics and the fundamental laws of physics, ineluctably leading, whenever possible, to life.

Life isn't rare. It's virtually inevitable given the appropriate chemical conditions. I don't need the "holy" bit. But I do believe that if there is anything in my life that might be described as spiritual, it's my sense of humility and awe in the face of the complexity of nature and the poetry of self-replication in all its forms.

But enough of the philosophising. I like getting dirt under my fingernails!

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