Gardening Women: Their Stories 1600 to the Present by Catherine Horwood - review by Miranda Seymour

Miranda Seymour

Coming Into Bloom

Gardening Women: Their Stories 1600 to the Present

By

Virago 427pp £17.99 order from our bookshop
 

We are, as a nation, partial to gardens. The garden visitors (as opposed to the house visitors) are those I remember best from the years when my parents used to open their Jacobean home to any and all, every weekend – and hope for custom. Bad weather often kept house tourers away; downpours never defeated the gardening enthusiasts. Peering down from the nursery window on gusty Sunday afternoons, I watched our visitors undergo their transformation from checked shirts and floral skirts into an army of intrepid marching mushrooms in beige and black: they got extremely wet, but they never quit.

Catherine Horwood, in this ambitious study, suggests that gardening runs in families. Alas, but no. My grandmother, so far as I know, had nothing whatsoever to do with the gorgeous gardens at Chirk Castle (of which she was, during her married life, the chatelaine). Instead, she sensibly recruited

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter