(Image shows two women halfway up two ladders tending to a plant, with the title of the book ‘Gardening women: their stories 1600 to the present’ and the authors name – Catherine Horwood)
Women are rarely celebrated in the history of gardening – a fact Catherine Horwood, a historian and passionate gardener, aims to redress in ‘Gardening Women’.
This is a fascinating social history of women’s involvement with plants and gardening from 1600 to the present day.
The book covers more than just the cultivation or design of gardens. Other topics covered are
- plant hunting
- botanical illustration
- scientific discovery
- flower decoration
- herb and vegetable gardening.
The struggle for women to gain access to training and careers in professional horticulture is the last and longest section.
Horwood includes many interesting facts. For instance, the Bramley apple should actually be called the Brailsford apple, since a woman of that name first planted it in 1809, before selling her home to a certain Matthew Bramley.
You can find details of Gardening women on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.