ForeverMissed
This website was created in memory of Kevin Walsh
Born: November 22, 1957    Died: June 14, 2022.

Kevin's Farewell Gathering will be held on Friday 15th July 2022
Venue: The Nobbies Centre function room (2nd floor), Phillip Island Nature Reserve
Time: Commencing at 1.30pm
(Finish at 4.00pm - Gates to the peninsula close at 5.00pm for the penguins)
Dress: Informal / Colourful
Refreshments will be served.
This will be a Covid-conscious gathering

Farewell Gathering Service Program:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wdTd6_fWUzfpSlRZX...

Farewell Gathering Video Link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vo1uzxtx6b8aoh1/Kevin%20...

No flowers thank you.
Please feel free to make a donation to one of the following charities:
Kevin will be fondly remembered by those who knew him for his astute wit, intellect and love of humour. His sincerity, loyalty and integrity was felt and acknowledged by many who knew him. His deep passion for gardening and public landscape spaces and desire to share his ideas and knowledge was paramount. 
The love and devotion he felt for his family was what mattered most.
We will miss him always.
Posted by Cath ferreira on July 16, 2022
I used to get the train to our workplace at Bendigo council with Kevin. We had many interesting conversations and Kevin introduced me the rest of the train "gang". We all had lots of laughs. Kevin was one of those people that could light up a room and I valued immensely his wisdom and advice. Rest in peace Kevin .
Posted by Sandy Ryan on July 15, 2022
My deepest condolences to Lauretta and the Family.
Kevin was a lovely sole and we always enjoyed when he dropped in for a chat.
He had a beautiful heart and the warm positivity that this world needs.
He will be sorely missed and we will be thinking of him.
Matt and I aren't able to be there in person today but we will be there in spirit and via zoom.
May he rest in peace...
With love
Sandy and Matt Ryan
Posted by cathy cleve on July 15, 2022
Kev was a man to be remembered. A beautiful soul taken too soon. He was always smiling happy to see you.He had a great sense of humour. A very knowledgeable,intelligent human being.His love for Horticulture a credit to who him. He was one in a million one hell of a grouse bloke. RIP Kev loveya Cathy xoxoxo

I was feeling pretty flat at work because the prospects of becoming permanent were slipping away but then Kev came out to see how i was travelling and gave me words of encouragement and we had a bit of a chat. When he left i felt better and after our conversation i thought what a beautiful caring man and now the world is a poorer place without Kevin in it.
Kind Regards Stephen Scicluna

Kev met a few of us long term gardeners-Tim Ashby,Phil Keith,Shane Nash,Cathy Cleve after he left GMCT. We purchased his book Waterwise Gardening and gave us his signature.We all looked upto Kevin Walsh admired him immensely.




Posted by Brendan Walsh on July 15, 2022
Dear Kevin,

We will greatly miss you, and your laughter and sense of humour.

Thank you for your generosity and creativity assisting us with several garden designs over the years. Every time we walk into our Parkville garden we will think of you.

Fond memories of hanging out, surfing and having fun (B)

Rest in peace,

Cathy Lengyel, Brendan Walsh
Posted by Marion Pennicuik on July 14, 2022
My sincere condolences to Kevin's family and friends. He was a kind gentle man and a quiet achiever. He will be missed by all.
Posted by Kristine Filmer on July 14, 2022
Great Boss, Great Man, Great Friend
One great memory that Kevy and I shared was after his time at Fawkner, we were both on a page on Facebook called “what plant is that” and every time I would know what something was and go to reply with the answer, only to find out he had beat me to it. I would then message him and say “just beat me to it mate” but good answer you’re right”, and he would reply “I know I was right LOL!, be faster next time Leroy ”
Will miss your smile Kevy
Leigh.

Further to this Kev was always happy to share his knowledge with those interested. He was passionate in what he did and had an enthusiasm that rubbed off on the people around him. We have a tree planted at Fawkner that Kev had grown by seed from the Castlemaine Botanic gardens. He was unable to join us in person but we did zoom him in. Kev was always happy for a chat and spent well over an hour talking to staff at the planting. It was wonderful that he could participate in this. Kevs tree will be well nurtured and his beaming grin will be remembered by those who knew him as they pass by Kevs tree.
Kev was always a person who liked to reflect on the work of others rather than himself. When we were discussing the plaque for his tree this was part of Kevs response. “My other thought is that while I appreciate being acknowledged, it could be an opportunity to acknowledge “all those who have managed and maintained these beautiful gardens for the peaceful reflection and enjoyment of all visitors” or words like that. “

Kris

Posted by Carla Zilles on July 9, 2022
It still feels surreal that Kevin is no longer here. I admired Kevin’s calmness, intelligence, sense of humour and obvious love for, and protection of, Lauretta, Natalie and Callan.

As Zilles “in-laws”, Kevin and I had a unique bond that evolved through shared experiences, casual glances and knowing smiles. No words were necessary.

Lauretta, Natalie and Callan, I am so sorry for your loss.
With love. Carla ❤️
Posted by Maxine Agius on July 9, 2022
Working at GMCT I meet Kevin and I liked him from the start, he was easy to talk too and enjoyed more than just plants. We talked about family, work matters of course and lots of subjects in between, he was passionate about everything. As we travel around this beautiful country I look at the plants and then look again! I see the shapes and the colours, if I don't know I google and think of you. Its been a pleasure to call you my friend, I see you smile everytime I think of you. Thanks Bloke its been an honour.. 
Love to Lauretta, Natalie and Callan.
Posted by Jonathan Ridnell on July 6, 2022
That most precious thing, that thing most of us don't value enough, is time. Kevin has left us, but for over twenty years, Kevin Walsh the water wise gardener, gave his precious time to the ABC Central Victoria audiences freely and gladly. Yes, Kevin was a media tart. He LOVED taking talkback calls - but alongside that love of radio, was a genuine commitment to share his knowledge and love of gardening.

Kevin was a water wise pioneer. He came to the ABC with a modest "hi guys, I've written this book, can I talk on the radio about it?" and in the mid 1990's many of us wondered why being water wise should be a thing.

But as the Millennial drought started to bite, Kevin's ideas really took root. It IS possible to have a drought tolerant, yet beautiful garden. I had the opportunity to go to some of Kevin's rural town presentations - his accessible manner meant that he would be at the hall meeting way beyond his presentation time, talking to gardeners one-on-one - strangers to Kevin, but the people knew him through his radio work.

How much did Kevin love being on the radio? As his career in local government and beyond grew, he always told us that he'd cleared it with his boss that it was OK to find an hour out of his week to come on the radio to talk gardening. Kevin's ABC audience was always as important to him as his bread and butter job.

Sitting opposite Kevin while a caller was asking why an obscure plant none of us had ever heard of was dying, it was fun to watch the expressions on Kevin's face - from puzzled to just slightly annoyed, to a lightbulb moment of glee when an answer popped into his brain. Or, Kevin had to take the question on notice and take some homework for next week.

Kevin was also an avid ABC supporter, whole heartedly supporting a garden design competition for the weed patch out the front of the studios, and finding time to join us for ABC Central Victoria's 20th birthday.

It was a sad day for Kevin when he finally told us his work commitments meant he was unable to continue on the radio - and it's a sad day today.

We miss the on-air sense of humour, which we knew was held back just a bit, because he was much funnier when the microphone was off.

Thanks Kevin - for your love of radio, and your love of sharing the joy of a patch of healthy plants - water wise plants of course. :-)

Posted by Lynne Mewett on July 4, 2022
Ron and I were so sad to hear of Kevin's passing, a life cut far too short. We will remember him for his friendship, gentle nature and dry wit. We took a remembrance walk through the White Hills Botanical Gardens to reminisce and honour Kevin.
Sincere condolences to Lauretta, Natalie and Callan our hearts go out to you at this very sad time. Love Lynne and Ron
Posted by Tim Entwisle on July 4, 2022
On behalf of everyone at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, our condolences to all the family. Our thoughts are with you.

We remember Kevin as a passionate plant enthusiast, always keen to learn more and to share that knowledge. He will be remembered fondly and long by many.
Posted by Virginia Costa on June 29, 2022
Very sorry to learn of Kevin’s passing. Deepest sympathy to Lauretta, Natalie and Callan.
My brief chats with Kevin left a lasting impression and have impacted the approach to my new garden at no. 23 Jellicoe St.
Posted by Pat Grumont on June 28, 2022
The Committee of Management at Buda Historic Home and Garden and the Buda community would like to pass on our greatest condolences to Lauretta, Callan and Natalie and our thanks for sharing Kevin with us at Buda over the many years that the family have been involved.

Kevin played a really important role in the way we manage our historic Buda Garden and was, along with Peter Cuffley, our Expert Gardening Advisor, all completed on a voluntary basis.

It has been a great advantage to Buda to have had Kevin’s generous support for our Garden Curators, bringing his horticulture knowledge and understanding of historic gardens to the Buda Garden with all her foibles.

His direction with the Living Heritage Program was greatly appreciated, linking us with the appropriate personnel to ensure we were following the best path when caring for our special trees.
Well remembered for his diverse horticultural knowledge and practical gardening advice in the broader community, he worked in many areas during his professional life including the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in Melbourne. This was the subject of a talk he gave at our Josine McEwan annual dinner in 2017.
It was always so good to know that Kevin was there if we needed reassurance or guidance in our administration of Buda’s heritage garden and we will miss his support very much.

We also respect and admire the courage, energy and love Lauretta has shown in making Kevin's last months a special time for their family. This has been inspiration to all of us in the Buda community and we want the family to know that the Buda community will always be here for them.

Posted by Diane Linton on June 26, 2022
Kevin, I can't believe you left us so rapidly. A vibrant personality who made a difference in so many fields. A true friend of Buda Historic House and Garden. A generous person who touched so many people. A light has been extinguished in all our lives but you live on in our memories.
Love to Lauretta, Natalie and Callan.
Posted by Melanie Kinsey on June 25, 2022
I can’t remember when we first met. It was a long time ago - nearly 30 years ago. It was probably at an HMA function; or maybe at MIFGS. Both of us horticulturists, both of us writers. Both living and gardening in a challenging climate.
Thanks Kevin for all our chats, emails, phonecalls, texts. The encouragement when life got tough. The excitement when we finally managed to work in the same place and then amazingly, the same team. How cool was that?!?? Sorely missed already. Who can I bounce plant ID conundrums off now?! Don’t work too hard in that great big garden in the sky Kev.
Hugs and kisses to you Lauretta, Natalie and Callan. What a great bloke. I’m honoured to have been counted as a friend.
Posted by Marie Millett on June 25, 2022
Lovely Kevin, you have left a very big imprint on all our lives and a legacy that will live forever. You were decades ahead of the rest of us with your water wise gardens and gardening, you led the way and everyone else followed. We remember your warmth and generosity, good humour, gentle nature, and are so very full of love and sympathy for your grieving, beautiful family. I am so very sorry Lauretta, wishing there was a way to make it all better for you all❣️thinking of you with much love from Marie
Posted by Lauretta Zilles on June 24, 2022
My darling Kevin,

We walked through the best part of our lives together
Becoming like a grafted vine
We bonded and grew together, laughed and cried together
Stood by and were always there for one another
Supported, nurtured and inspired each other

Our lives together have been rich, strong and fruitful
I am so proud of what we achieved
and grateful to have had you as my partner through life

Though you are gone from my side
It gives me great solace and strength to know that what we had
was special and will remain with me forever
I will never be untangled . . .

Yours
Lauretta xoxo

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Cath ferreira on July 16, 2022
I used to get the train to our workplace at Bendigo council with Kevin. We had many interesting conversations and Kevin introduced me the rest of the train "gang". We all had lots of laughs. Kevin was one of those people that could light up a room and I valued immensely his wisdom and advice. Rest in peace Kevin .
Posted by Sandy Ryan on July 15, 2022
My deepest condolences to Lauretta and the Family.
Kevin was a lovely sole and we always enjoyed when he dropped in for a chat.
He had a beautiful heart and the warm positivity that this world needs.
He will be sorely missed and we will be thinking of him.
Matt and I aren't able to be there in person today but we will be there in spirit and via zoom.
May he rest in peace...
With love
Sandy and Matt Ryan
Posted by cathy cleve on July 15, 2022
Kev was a man to be remembered. A beautiful soul taken too soon. He was always smiling happy to see you.He had a great sense of humour. A very knowledgeable,intelligent human being.His love for Horticulture a credit to who him. He was one in a million one hell of a grouse bloke. RIP Kev loveya Cathy xoxoxo

I was feeling pretty flat at work because the prospects of becoming permanent were slipping away but then Kev came out to see how i was travelling and gave me words of encouragement and we had a bit of a chat. When he left i felt better and after our conversation i thought what a beautiful caring man and now the world is a poorer place without Kevin in it.
Kind Regards Stephen Scicluna

Kev met a few of us long term gardeners-Tim Ashby,Phil Keith,Shane Nash,Cathy Cleve after he left GMCT. We purchased his book Waterwise Gardening and gave us his signature.We all looked upto Kevin Walsh admired him immensely.




his Life

PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Kevin was involved in horticulture since the mid-1980s, contributing much to the areas of historic and botanic gardens, waterwise gardening and open space planning as well as carrying out garden design work, giving advice, leading garden tours and teaching apprentices during his long career.

In 1984 he began his career in gardening at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on landscaping projects that merged into a gardening position. In 1985 he took up a job on the restoration of the Malmsbury Botanical Gardens in Central Victoria – a year-long pilot project funded by corporate businesses in celebration of Victoria's sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary. He commenced a Trade Certificate in horticulture at Bendigo College of TAFE in the same year.

Between 1987 and 1988 Kevin worked part-time as a gardener at the Castlemaine Community Hospital. During this time he started his own business in garden design and construction.

In the late 1980s he was able to combine his love of writing with his gardening career by writing articles for gardening journals and magazines. From 1990 to 2000 he answered the Readers’ Questions in the gardening page of The Age newspaper.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, for more than 20 years he co-presented a regular weekly timeslot on Bendigo’s ABC Regional Radio answering listeners’ gardening questions. He was also a regular guest on Melbourne’s 3CR Community Radio gardening talkback program.

Well known as a public speaker, Kevin presented to a broad range of community and specialist groups and at national conferences over the years. He had the ability to talk on a range of practical gardening issues as well as topics relating to horticultural history, contemporary garden design and landscape planning amongst other things. He led garden tours of New Zealand with Grand Pacific Tours during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Kevin is probably best remembered as the author of the ground-breaking publication Water-Saving Gardening in Australia (Reed Books 1993) which was the first book written on the subject in Australia. It has never been out of print, with the fourth edition released in 2009 along with a companion volume Waterwise Plants published in 2010 and a combined publication Waterwise Plants and Gardening launched in 2017. His expert knowledge in this field has won him much respect and acclaim.

Organisations he was involved with include the Horticultural Media Association, The Australian Institute of Horticulture, Sustainable Gardening Australia, The Ornamental Plants Conservation Association of Australia, Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand, The Mediterranean Garden Society and The Australian Garden History Society (serving on their committee between 1994-1996).

Other major achievements include developing the Bendigo Botanic Gardens Master Plan, White Hills (City of Greater Bendigo 2010) which won the National Planning Award in 2011 (Parks and Leisure Australia), along with the National Landscape Architecture Award in 2012 (Australian Institute of Landscape Architects). He also received the National Award for Excellence in Open Space Development in 2013 (Parks and Leisure Australia) for Anglesea Riverbank Development and the Star Award for Sustainability in 2014 (Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust).

In more recent years Kevin worked on the significant Carlton Gardens Master Plan for the City of Melbourne, leading the overarching consultation for the World Heritage Management Plan, which will having a lasting impact on the future conservation of this important heritage site.

Kevin’s passion for horticulture, his jovial and outgoing personality and his sharing and inclusive nature will be sorely missed by his friends, colleagues and followers. He truly believed that gardening had the power to bring people together in a friendly space, to connect them with nature and bring them satisfaction and enjoyment.

Recent stories

Reflections on Kevin's contributions to Castlemaine

Shared by Jon Leevers on July 24, 2022
I enjoyed knowing and having a friendship with Kevin over 30 years. I particularly enjoyed that we were fathers at the same stage of life and watched our children grow up together, through school, sport, parties and into continuing adulthood friendships. 

Kevin was a quiet, yet significant contributor to shaping the local community and landscape of Castlemaine.

In 1991 he co wrote the Management Plan for the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens and the History of the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens. These reports are still used today as principal sources for the history and physical documentation of the gardens and many of the recommendations of the management plan have been, and continue to be, implemented.

In 1992 he convened the Friends of the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens group.  Through both these contributions, the amenity and aesthetics of the gardens has been improved and the local appreciation for, and usage of, the gardens has greatly increased. They have become a more highly valued asset for Castlemaine.

He was a contributor to the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens from its inception in the mid 1990’s, including his guided tours of the Botanical Gardens in entertaining character as Baron Von Mueller.

He provided comment on, and helped shape, the horticultural aspects of significant developments in Castlemaine and provided pro bono advice on landscape development of the Castlemaine Primary School.

In his consultancy work he designed many contemporary gardens in Castlemaine and Central Victoria. Whilst primarily a horticulturalist, Kevin recognised the importance of locally indigenous plants and incorporated them in his landscape designs, at times collaborating with local naturalist, the late Ern Perkins, in doing so.

He recognised the importance of including Traditional Owner history, knowledge and aspirations in planning for public spaces. He put this into practice by ensuring Traditional Owner groups were invited and consulted early on in planning processes and designs for public gardens.

He was generous in his support and encouragement for many people, myself included, in development of their enterprises and careers. I also enjoyed observing and sharing stories of Kevin’s own successful career changes and developments.

He was a good man. A good friend.

Our Kevin

Shared by Margot Zilles on July 4, 2022
Our Dear Kevin,

You’ve taken the lead to other realms where we shall all go in time.. Go then.. & trip your light fantastic....

I'm glad we had some time to share feelings about what you mean to us as you have fit so easily & snugly into our family for such a long time.

The legacy you have left us all is sweet & loamy, warm & binding, everlasting & teeming with memories of what an all round kindhearted, clever, witty & level tempered soul you are..

AND.. a very brave fella to come along for the ride with Ret, Lou & myself (three Zilles sisters), on our ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Europe, together.

You were an endless & willing source of talent, naturally hamming it up in front of the camera & entertained us with your fun & lovely demeanour. You were also patient & kind & forgiving in some tricky manoeuvres we all had to take to make our destination deadlines & decisions for our travelling band.

Speaking of bands, you switched me on to ‘The Boss’ quite a bit earlier than I would have, had you not been an avid influencer!

Quite aside from your passion for plants, prolific professional life where you have made waves, rode them, moved mountains in spades & wrote all about it over the years & stood strong & admired among your peers & colleagues...

To us, my two girls & I, you were Brother-in-Law & Uncle, valuable confidante, lively discusseur around the table, sharer of stories, infectant with laughter, crossword aficionado, ‘lets turn the compost & build a new one tomorrow’ & ‘we’ll pot up some cuttings I prepared earlier’ type of company.

I remember you growing your first crop of veggies out the back yard of your’s & Ret’s little cottage in Prahran way back in the early ‘80’s & the milk cartons you prepared with enthusiasm to blanch your crop... of celery! You showed such commitment to the art.. I giggled at your attention to the ‘perfect bunch’ & had no idea then, that you would go on to make plants such a successful lifelong love & career!

We shared the birthings of two beautiful Zilles/Walsh children, Nat & Cal, visited & stayed regularly en route to Ballaarat. Looked forward to mellow Summer Christmas lunches under the willow tree in the expansive backyard garden at Castlemaine & afternoon tea or a ‘coldie’ undercover of the fruity grapevine on the patio & so many other ‘get real’ important family spent events across the years.

Your valuable input & thoughtful contribution to our family decisions & call to action was generous & freely given. You displayed drive & direction & had a way with your natural delivery of cleverly worded persuasions & POV’s.

At the same time, just a happy go lucky, normal bloke, so easy to be around & we love you..

We will always love you & remember you & bring you with us when we’re getting around smelling the roses & even the jonquils (as I did today, for you.. & I liked it!), visiting far off lands, watching the waves roll in with the birds calling attention! attention! experiencing the natural world & all it’s beautiful bounty.. you are firmly in our memories, our hearts & our familial talk will bring you into it all to be right there with us.

You will remain close at heart Kev..

Love Eternal, Margot, Hannah & Siah xoxoxo

Shared by Brigid Mullane on June 28, 2022
Dear Kev,
I was so lucky to be born into a family with you in it. Your warmth and humour made me seek you out at any family function, knowing I would find a soft place to land.
You always had time for us as kids, whether you were explaining what a beatnik was ( you are fully to blame for my late-teen obsession with Keroauc), or showing us through the Botanical gardens in Castlemaine. Your laughter always made me feel safe and seen and understood.
You showed me what it looks like to live a life unapologetically in service of the things that you loved and that brought you joy - things that grew, people that made you laugh and who you loved whole heartedly, the ocean and the surf.
I was always in awe of the life you and Lauretta built, and when you were joined by Natalie and Callan I remember your world expanding with such love and joy.
I miss you, Kev. I love you.