Iris Backcoller nee Atkins, was born in Launceston, Tasmania. Her family encouraged her musical talents and she was well known as a singer. She left Launceston in 1945 to study singing in Melbourne. She has had may articles on flower arrangement published in Australian newspapers and magazines and in America. She is a member of numerous horticultural societies and has written several books on, and teaches courses in flower arrangement. She was the first Tasmanian to have an exhibit published in the calendar produced by the National Council of American State Garden Clubs. The calender incorporates work selected from entries submitted by the world's leading floral artists.