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March 2017

Esra Parr Garden Design, London, England

31 March 2017

I love the new 3-season trousers and would like another pair as they fit me so beautifully – not an easy things as someone with a small waist and much curvier hips. The 3-season style is the best I’ve ever seen for gardening.

Iona Copley, Hertfordshire, England

27 March 2017

I am very pleased with the trousers, comfortable and practical but look good to. Look forward to receiving the socks.

Elizabeth Airey, Italy

23 March 2017

I was so pleased with my first pair I have bought a second pair so I don’t have to do without them on washing days.

Jan Maclellan, Inverness-shire, Scotland

11 March 2017

Am absolutely delighted with the ladies gardening trousers. Genius! Love all the features, padding, pocket, etc, but the high rise back is the best of all. Have gardened for 30 years in old jeans which gave me a cold back and a builders bum. I’m sure my neighbours will all heartily appreciate it too.

Women in the Garden

11 March 2017

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and with the shops filling up with cards and flowers it got us thinking about the relationship between women and gardening. I suppose it’s a bit like food – the top chefs tend to be men, but it’s the women who do most of the cooking in the home. A straw poll of the top garden designers, head gardeners and TV gardening celebrities will probably reveal that the majority are men. Think of Dan Pearson, Fergus Garrett, Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh. But in millions of households across the country it’s the women who are doing the everyday work of looking after the garden.

Any gardening magazine will tell you that three-quarters of its readership are women. Garden centres are full of products targeted at women. Genus sells five times as many of its gardening clothes to women as to men.

In the garden traditional gender roles still hold sway. “I mow the lawn, the wife weeds the beds.” “If it’s a machine with a motor, it’s his job.” I wonder if this is a legacy of the age-old practices of pre-industrial farming. In a village in Africa where I have spent a lot of time, women are responsible for the home garden, the patch of land close to the house where they grow vegetables and also for the cultivation of rice, the staple food. The men control the production, and therefore the proceeds, of cash crops such as peanuts, cashew nuts, oranges and mangoes.

I’m quite fascinated by this subject so I’ve been hanging around Waterstones lately looking for books on women and gardening. Here are a few I found: Virgins Weeders and Queens: A History of Women in the Garden by Twigs Way, 2006; Gardening Women: Their Stories from 1600 to the Present by Dr Catherine Horwood, 2010; and two published in 2015: Women Garden Designers: 1900 to the Present by Kristina Taylor; and First Ladies of Gardening by Heidi Howcroft. All these books tell the story of women busy in the garden, active behind the scenes, and struggling to find a voice in the male-dominated institutions of the gardening world

Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day so minds were focused on the role of women in world affairs. Currently there are 15 female heads of state, a paltry 10% of the UN membership, but nevertheless a number that has been increasing steadily and three fifths of these, nine in total, head up European countries. In every walk of life, women are winning the fight for equality step by step, inch by inch.

So, all you women gardeners, now that spring has arrived, start mowing the lawn and get practicing with the strimmer and the hedge cutter.

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Vicki Hawthorne, Essex, England

2 March 2017

Thank you so much for your speedy service and the jumper looks excellent.