Born at Wallington near Geelong at the end of the 1800’s, at a time when this part of Victoria was still mostly virgin forest, some of Daisy Wood’s earliest memories were of roaming the bush with her parents and elder sister, revelling in the profusion of beautiful wildflowers among the wattles and gum trees. Her father was passionate about the need to preserve the natural beauty and the habitats that supported the diversity of Australian plants that he saw around him, and that were being destroyed to create farmland. He saw a place for both to exist, and this strong feeling was passed on to his children and subsequent generations.
Daisy (nee Bail) married Thomas Wood, and they moved to Cranbourne, one of the best localities for wildflowers at that time. She began painting Christmas cards to bring extra money in for the family through the Great Depression. After a move back to Wallington, at the urging of family and friends, she determined to concentrate on large portraits of wildflowers. She had successful exhibitions and self published a book in 1975 of her work, ‘In Harmony With Nature’, while in her 80’s.
Daisy Wood’s botanical paintings are worked in watercolour paint, the perfect medium to render the delicacy of Australian wildflowers. She also painted watercolour landscapes of the various locations she explored to find her floral subjects, and later also branched out to paint delicate pictures of the colourful fungi she found.
Daisy was involved with groups such as the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, and went on many painting expeditions around Australia to explore a wide range of natural subjects. She inspired an appreciation for Australia’s unique flora through her work, including her grandson, Angus Stewart.
Below is a selection of her mixed bunches of flowers
Western Australia wildflower bunch
This beautiful array of ﬂower textures and colours highlights the biodiversity of the south coast of Western Australia. The city of Albany is a perfect base from which to make a number of day trips into surrounding national parks where you will be able to fnd many of the unique wildﬂowers Daisy has included in this painting. If you are at all interested in Australian wildﬂowers, a springtime jaunt through this region of Western Australia will be one of the trips of a lifetime.
Great Ocean Road Bunch
Daisy lived in the Geelong region of Victoria at Moolap and spent a lot of time on wildﬂower jaunts with the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. She loved exploring the diﬀerent wildﬂowers along the heathlands of Victoria’s south coast, where there are numerous species of ground orchids, the most delicate and intricate of all Australian wildﬂowers. The Great Ocean Road is one of the iconic road trips where you can not only fnd many of these wildﬂowers but also some of Australia’s most spectacular coastal scenery.
Sydney Sandstone Bunch
Daisy Wood travelled extensively for her work on Australian wildflowers and the sandstone country around Sydney provided her with endless inspiration due to the extraordinary and beautiful botanical biodiversity of the region. There are more plant species in the Sydney region than in the entire British Isles and Daisy captured some of the most iconic wildflower species with her work. Bushwalks in various national parks such as Kuring-gai, Brisbane Water, Bouddi and Royal National Park in August and September are the way to experience these flowers in the wild.
This delicate group of flowers features the Victorian floral emblem, pink heath (Epacris impressa), and a number of other treasures that are found in the high country of places like Mount Buffalo. Daisy had a deep fondness for the mountain wildflowers as there is such a diverse range of intricate textures, forms and colours to be found. A drive through the Victorian high plains from Orbost to bright in mid summer, with frequent wildflower spotting stops, is a great way to explore the incredible biodiversity of this part of Australia.