All-female panel to discuss role of women in horticulture at Open Garden Squares Weekend event

The role of women in horticulture will be explored at an all-female panel discussion with eight leading industry figures.

Sarah Eberle on this year's Hillier display at RHS Chelsea. Image: Julian Dodd/HW
Sarah Eberle on this year's Hillier display at RHS Chelsea. Image: Julian Dodd/HW

The Women in Horticulture panel discussion on Thursday 7 June celebrates the Year of the Woman and Open Garden Squares Weekend's 21st anniversary and will cover their careers, their inspirations and heroines and some of the challenges they’ve faced working in the profession so far.

Sarah Eberle, the only woman to ever win Best in Show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and designer for four gardens and stands at this year's event, including the Hillier stand which won its 73rd Gold medal, joins fellow Chelsea Gold-medal winners Charlotte Harris (2017) Charlotte Rowe (2014) and Juliet Sargeant (2016), who also made history as the first black person to design a show garden at RHS Chelsea.

Head gardener at Middle Temple Kate Jenrick is also on the panel, with English Garden magazine editor and chairman of the UK Garden Media Guild Clare Foggett and Dr Catherine Horwood - author of ‘Gardening Women: their stories from 1600 to present’ who established

The event will be chaired by chair of London Parks and Gardens Trust and public realm principal at the London Legacy Development Corporation, Ruth Holmes.

The event is being hosted by Coutts, which also allows guests to learn more about and visit its 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. It is one of more than 200 gardens taking part in the weekend this year.

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."

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