This year, Open Garden Squares Weekend, London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend, celebrates the ‘Year of the Woman’ and 21 years of opening London gardens for public enjoyment with a Women in Horticulture panel discussion on Thursday 7 June.
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 and the evolution of their careers since. They will talk about their inspirations and heroines and 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 online here from Monday 21 May 2018.
On the panel:
Sarah Eberle – the only woman to ever win ‘Best in Show’ at RHS Chelsea
Clare Foggett – Editor, 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 present’ and set up gardeningwomen.com
Kate Jenrick – head gardener at Middle Temple
Charlotte Rowe – won gold at RHS Chelsea in 2014
Juliet Sargeant – made history as the first black woman to exhibit at RHS Chelsea in 2016, and subsequently won a Gold Medal
The event will be chaired by Ruth Holmes, Chair, London Parks and Gardens Trust – organisers of Open Garden Squares Weekend and Landscape and Public Realm Principal at London Legacy Development Corporation.
Ruth Holmes, Chair, London Parks and Gardens Trust, 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 is 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 (was available via public ballot).
Open Garden Squares Weekend is London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend. The annual event allows members of the public exclusive access to some of the capital’s most exciting, private and unique gardens, and to take part in a whole range of special events and activities. Organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust, and now in its’ 21st year, the event highlights the significant social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens, squares and green spaces make to the capital and its inhabitants.
This year, over 200 gardens will participate in the Weekend – ranging from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental. There are community gardens, gardens in schools and churches, on rooftops, on railway platforms, in skips, behind shops, and floating on the water. A full list of the 2018 gardens can be viewed here.
Twitter: @OpenSquares #OGSW18