Frances Garnet Wolseley
Gardening for Women
December 24, 1936
Today is the anniversary of the death of the influential English gardening author and instructor, Frances Garnet Wolseley.
A lifelong single lady, Frances devoted herself to gardening and gardening education.
In 1902, on her thirtieth birthday, Frances created the Glynde College for Lady Gardeners on her father’s garden in East Sussex. Although her classes had only around a dozen students, Frances managed to attract some famous students included Gertrude Jekyll, Ellen Willmott, and William Robinson.
And online, there’s a fantastic picture of Frances that shows her mowing a lawn with a push and pull mower with the help of one of her students - they're both standing on either side of this thing - it took two people to run it. It’s hard to believe, but in the early 1900s, pictures of women mowing were being shown in advertisements for lawnmowers - they were trying to appeal to women to mow the lawn.
In her 1908 book, Gardening for Women, Frances wrote,
“It must be borne in mind that horticulture is still a comparatively new profession for women and that unless those who enter it strive to give full time and application to learning its details they cannot hope to be successful ...they should spare no pains to gain a complete education, for only then … can they expect remuneration."
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