It is a great sadness that I let our members know of the passing of Marcus Harvey, "Hill View Rare Plants".
Marcus passed away last night, he will be sorely missed as a great plantsman and I can see a wry smile on his face as I say this, never putting himself in this category, but to us in Australia he was. Marcus made many trips with Susan Jarick his partner to Greece and through the Mediterranean collecting seed and then worrying about AQIS on his return to Australia. Marcus's seed list of 2002/2003 was mainly of Colchicum's, Crocus, Fritillaria and a list of wild collected seed of Tasmanian species at the back of the list.
When I first met Marcus he was a Librarian and wanting to only work part time so as to increase his bulb collection and bulb sales, but this took a few years to accomplish as you know some bulbs are slow to bulk up. Marcus imported many bulbs from all over the world including Janis Ruksans Nursery.
Marcus had a wonderful list of small bulbs twice every year summer and winter, my first catalogue was from 1998 and I don't think this was his first bulb list. Marcus's knowledge was remarkable on bulbs, he liked to go and see where and how they grew in the wild with Susan Jarick a beautiful botanical artist whose art appeared on the covers and often the back of his catalogue's. He was our first bulb speaker at our bulb conference we held to make some much needed funds for our AGSVGroup, for public liability insurance and rent of a hall that was raised un-expectantly. I spoke to Marcus and he was very happy to come over to Victoria and help us raise that money. He was generous with his time and he would often ring just to have a chat about bulbs or AQIS and what we could do to get more bulbs on ICON as it was called then, he wanted all Erythroniums, Galanthus and all Fritillaria's as a group to be allowed in, as he thought they would never become weeds in our climate and he held very strong views about this.
Thank you Marcus for your friendship, your new bulb introductions into Australia and all your tireless work with AQIS so that these tiny treasures were introduced to this country.
"Thanks for reading thus far and I hope there is something on this list that tempts a try, cheers Marcus and crew."