©2019 by Catherine Horwood

Gardening Women

Virago (2010)

From Flora, Roman goddess of plants, to today's gardeners at Kew, women have always gardened. Women gardeners have grown vegetables for their kitchens and herbs for their medicine cupboards. They have been footnotes in the horticultural annals for specimens collected abroad. And their influence on the style of our gardens, frequently unacknowledged, survives to the present day.

From triumphs to the battles fought against male-dominated institutions, from the horticultural pioneers to the bringers of change in society's attitudes, this book is a celebration of the best of the species - gardening women.

Wonderful female gardeners, from weeding women to duchesses and dragons ... Horwood is especially good on mid 20th century gardening schools where girls in rustic uniform trod a disciplined path, forking afterwards either to a career or a good marriage.

Horwood has done a terrific, pioneering job. Beautifully structured and cogently written, Gardening Women is as rich, full and long-lasting as pot pourri. Neither gardens, nor women, will seem quite the same again.

Stephen Anderton, The Times

Frances Wilson, The Sunday Times

Catherine Horwood ... tak[es] the reader on a breezy journey through four centuries of women gardeners in Britain. The [book] is packed with lovely details and quirky stories [such as ] the plantswoman Valerie Finnis's wedding day, which she and her husband chose to spend weeding

Andrea Wulf, Mail on Sunday