Green Gold

I have been working with the multi talented Gabriel Hemery and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on a project to celebrate the life of the Victorian, Scottish plant hunter, John Jeffrey.

Gabriel is writing a book titled Green Gold - the lost journals of John Jeffrey. It is a historical novel, based on real events, in the form of a biography.  To find out more about the book, visit

In 1850, young Scottish tree-hunter John Jeffrey is despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic tree species in North America. An early letter home tells of a 1,200 mile transcontinental journey on foot. Later, tantalising botanical samples arrive from British Columbia, Oregon and California, yet early promise soon withers. Three years after setting out John Jeffrey disappears without a trace. Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? The secrets of the extraordinary adventure lie in his precious journals which remained lost, until their discovery and reproduction, 160 years later in 2018.

I am working on a series of paintings for an exhibition which will feature the plants discovered and collected by John Jeffrey. The exhibition will take place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and will coincide with the launch of the book.

Work in progress on Jeffrey Pine.



Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium Specimen - Jeffrey Pine cone collected in 1952.

© Nicola Macartney 2019