Following a career as a speech and language therapist, Mally Francis developed a reputation as one of Cornwall's best-known botanical artists and tutors. Becoming the Founder Chairman of the Eden Project in 2001, she was well placed to offer her expertise to Tim Smit's new venture, having previously been a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society.
In1997 she and her husband Charles had bought a house in the grounds of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. During the previous decade she had learned the art of botanical painting from Anne-Marie Evans. Soon after arriving at Heligan, she was commissioned by Tim Smit to paint 46 wildflowers to illustrate the book 'Heligan Wild'. The classes in botanical painting which she held in her studio became hugely popular, attracting artists from France, Switzerland and the USA. She was instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of botanical art, travelling to give courses in the subject and taking groups to visit famous botanical art collections around the country.
In 2012 she stood down as Chairman of the Eden Project, and was elected as a fellow of the Linnaean Society.
The Linnean Society (Fellow)
The Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society (Fellow)
Cornwall Today (May 2018) 'Exotic Beauties' by Charles Francis