We are proud to launch this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend with a Women in Horticulture panel discussion on Thursday 7 June, in partnership with Coutts. This very special event is a chance to celebrate 21 years of opening London gardens for public enjoyment, and to mark a year already being dubbed ‘the Year of the Woman’ ,
Seven leading women from the horticulture profession will explore the role of women as the creators, carers and champions of gardens in every shape and form. They will discuss how each of them was called to horticulture, their inspirations, and the evolution of their careers since, and will share some of the challenges they’ve faced working in the profession so far. What does it take to design a show garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show? How easy is it to become a head gardener? Are there enough women in prominent roles, running their own businesses and winning awards? Do women make better gardeners?
Tickets are £25 per person and available to book online now.
On the panel:
Sarah Eberle – the only woman ever to win ‘Best in Show’ at RHS Chelsea
Clare Foggett – editor of The English Garden magazine and current Chairman of the UK’s Garden Media Guild, the professional body representing gardening writers, journalists and photographers
Charlotte Harris – won gold at RHS Chelsea in 2017, and worked on her garden with an all-female design team
Dr Catherine Horwood – author of Gardening Women: their stories from 1600 to the present and set up gardeningwomen.com
Kate Jenrick – head gardener at Middle Temple
Juliet Sargeant – made history as the first black woman to exhibit at RHS Chelsea in 2016, and subsequently won a Gold Medal
Charlotte Rowe – won gold at RHS Chelsea in 2014
The event will be chaired by Ruth Holmes, Chair of the London Parks and Gardens Trust which organises Open Garden Squares Weekend, and Landscape and Public Realm Principal at London Legacy Development Corporation.
Ruth Holmes said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring together so many prominent women for this event. Hearing from each woman about their role models and inspirations and about their experiences of working at the top of the profession will be very inspiring and hopefully encourage other women to pursue careers in horticulture and landscape.”
Coutts is hosting the event, and guests will have a chance to hear about the Coutts Skyline Garden*. The garden was the brainchild of executive chef Peter Fiori, and was created by the horticulturalist Richard Vine with the help of the Clink charity based at HMP High Down in 2012. It lies on each side of a narrow walkway around the roof of the building, and includes a flourishing south-facing fruit garden, a kitchen garden and cottage garden. Guests will be served complementary canapés prepared by the Coutts kitchen.
*The Skyline Garden is participating in Open Garden Squares Weekend – visit places were allocated by a public ballot, which has now closed.