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GodmotherBooks is the showcase and shop for the growing collection of books by Linda Locke, an accidental children’s book author after almost 40 years in advertising and marketing.

Linda’s journey as an author started upon a chance visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where she discovered misinformation about the origins of Singapore’s National Flower, which records show was created by Agnes Joaquim — Linda’s great grandaunt. Linda successfully defended her great grandaunt’s legacy and in 2016 Agnes was officially recognised as the creator of the hybrid orchid Vanda Miss Joaquim (scientifically known as Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim).

Soon after, a friend suggested that Linda pen a children’s book to ensure that future generations of Singaporeans would learn the true story about Agnes. In 2018, Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid, co-authored with James Wolf, was published by Epigram Books as part of its Prominent Singaporeans series.

Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid was followed by another book series called Jack Is Curious. based on the challenging questions her young son used to ask her and her creative responses. The range of topics provokes thoughtful discussions between children and their parents.

More About the Author

Linda Locke was previously chief executive and creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, and chairman and regional creative director of Leo Burnett Advertising, and has more than 300 creative awards to her name. Linda later started her own consultancy, Godmother Pte Ltd, and held several key positions at Club21, a luxury fashion distributor. She now serves as a board director at Culina Pte Ltd.

About the Collection

The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection: Illustrated Botanical Prints

Agnes Joaquim was a Singapore-born Armenian who created what would become Singapore’s National Flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim (scientific name: Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim), in 1893. The artificial hybrid was recognised by the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, botanist Henry Ridley.

Agnes, the first woman in the world to create a hybrid orchid, was a well-known and successful horticulturist, garnering 70 horticultural awards from 1881 to 1899. The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection of botanical prints commemorates her horticultural legacy and complements her story told in the book Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid.

In presenting Agnes’s award-winning plants in the illustrated collection, we looked at the newspaper records of the times, but they were of no use because they used common name descriptions of the plants, such as ‘rose’ and ‘durian’. So we turned to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and collaborated with a botanist to identify the likely species. To complete Agnes’s story, the collection includes two additional images: of Vanda Miss Joaquim’s parents, Papilionanthe teres (pod parent) and Papilionanthe hookeriana (pollen parent) — formerly in the genus Vanda — both of which may have been present in her award-winning floral bouquets or cut flowers. Waiwai Hove, a talented and respected botanical illustrator, was chosen to produce the prints.

*Disclaimer: Representative only based on subject and likely species.