- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Virago (6 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844084639
- ISBN-13: 978-1844084630
- Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 3.9 x 16.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gardening Women: Their Stories From 1600 to the Present Hardcover – 6 May 2010
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** 'An authoritative writer . . . it is about time that women gardeners received the generous tribute awarded to them by Horwood's splendid book . . . lively, superbly researched and highly enjoyable (LITERARY REVIEW)
** 'Women, like weeds, are everywhere in gardening history. In gathering their stories and describing their influences and achievements Horwood has done a terrific, pioneering job. Beautifully structured and cogently written, GARDENING WOMEN is as rich, f (THE TIMES)
** 'For anyone interested in the long and fascinating history of women and their gardens, Horwood's book, with its cast scope . . . and plethora of fascinating detail, is an admirable starting point (DAILY MAIL)
** 'An interesting, well-told story (FINANCIAL TIMES)
* An inspirational social history of women's involvement with plants and gardening over the centuriesSee all Product description
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I was also disappointed by Horwood's snobbish attitude to agriculture. On page 329, referring to those women who worked on farms during the war, she says 'this type of agricultural work was quite different from horticulture. It was dirty and exhausting, and could be done by 'townies' with the minimum of training.' Agriculture and horticulture both have tasks which may be done by the untrained; they also both have tasks which require great skill and understanding. I would like to see a 'townie' (or Horwood herself!) plough a field with 'the minimum of training'! Horwood is obviously annoyed by the lack of respect given to women gardeners through history, so it is sad to see her handing out the same patronising comments to female farmworkers.
In spite of these minor annoyances, this is a good book and well-worth reading. I would just like to see one that covers the topic in more depth...a 'double digging' job instead of a 'forking over' one!
Altogether I was disappointed in this book and also feel that far more illustrations could have been used.
I also felt the book was too superficial. There was too little depth. Often I found myself starting to get interested only to find that the subject petered out and was never returned to. At times it seemed to me to be almost a race to rattle off as many names as possible with little background information. In addition I thought there were far too few photographs or descriptions of the gardens mentioned, there was very little information about planting or design styles. For example, at the very beginning of the book there is a reference to the recent recreation of Eleanor of Aquitaine's garden at Winchester but there is neither a photograph nor drawing to provide elucidation. Another example is that it is stated that Gertrude Jekyll designed 112 gardens but I can't recall any photos or illustrations of any of these gardens, and in fact there is very little in this book about one of this country's most prominent gardeners. Whilst Jekyll has been written about elsewhere, so the comparatively limited discussion of her work is perhaps justifiable to a degree, the same superficial approach has been applied to others too, such as Norah Lindsay.
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