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. They taught young women about gardening twenty-five years before women's horticultural schools officially existed. And their influence on the style of our gardens, frequently unacknowledged, survives to the present day. From these 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.
Catherine Horwood is honorary research fellow of the Bedford Centre for the History of Women at Royal Holloway and is about to be a visiting fellow at Yale. She has won many prizes for her own gardens and was an honorary assistant organiser of the National Gardens Scheme for London.