International Women's Day - the garden celebrates

March 8th is International Women's Day and today I celebrate this by thinking about my garden.

My roses celebrate some amazing women:
Such as Gertrude Jekyll, Susan Williams Ellis, Claire Austin and Mme Alfred Carriere.  All roses my garden would not be complete without.
Then there is Katherine Hodgkin and irises in general.
Carol Klein's acer is one of the Four Sisters, this is not an actual type of acer, it was just bought from her nursery many years ago and is always referred to as such.
So many women are reflected in my garden, there are my grandmother's teasels, my mother's rhododendron. There is the ballerina rose planted in mind of my daughter as I plant one of these roses at every house I have lived at since she was born (I have to mention here that I plant silver birch trees for my son in the same way).

I stand and I think of the Vitas, the Nancys, the Ellens, the Beatrixes.  The books such as the Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnet) that inspired me from an early age to want to plant things and see them grow.  I think of Gwyneth who taught me so much about gardening from before I can almost remember.

I think of the amazing women I have met in gardening who are strong, confident, informed and knowledgeable; some of whom I am honoured to now regard as my friends.

I think about how lucky I am that I can stand and look at my garden, that I have the freedoms I have.   I pause and think of those who do not have this now or did not in the past.  I think of the women who fought and died so that I can stand here contemplating.  I think of the women still fighting and dying and suffering.

Yes I am influenced and in awe of many male gardeners; I am not denying that or demeaning that for one moment, but today is about women.  So to all the fantastic women gardeners/garden designers/garden writers/botanists/scientists on this International Women's Day - I salute you.