Walker's Flowers

Tasmanian flowers, photographed in 1920 (AOT, PH30/1/3171-14)

Walker's Flowers was part of a business begun by Frank Walker, who in 1876 established a nursery in Launceston, and in 1902 an orchard at Lalla. His son William (18891969) continued the business. Walkers exported apples to Britain, and supplied large quantities of fruit trees to Tasmanian, the mainland and overseas markets. William introduced many varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers, including the Lalla Red Delicious apple. Walkers also ran a florist shop in Launceston, and in 1937 William developed a new orchard and nursery at Cormiston. He pioneered, with Ivan Holyman, transport by air of fresh strawberries to the mainland and South-East Asia, and exported cymbidium orchids to the United States.

Charitable and public-minded, Walker supported many community groups and donated 8500 trees for the Pioneer Memorial Highway. Descendants ran the nursery until the 1970s, and two daughters ran the florist business until its sale in 1982. Walker's Flowers still operates in Launceston.

Further reading: ADB 16.

Alison Alexander