The Gardens of the British Working Class: Margaret Willes
2:30pm - 3:30pm - Monday 12 June
Spanning more than four centuries, from the earliest records of the labouring classes to today, Margaret Willes' people’s history unearths cherished gardens nurtured outside modest workers' cottages, fruitful allotments, and horticultural miracles performed in blackened yards.
Her research has uncovered the ingenious methods employed by determined and obsessive working gardeners to make their drab surroundings bloom. She also explores the stories of the philanthropic industrialists who provided gardens for their workforces, the fashionable rich stealing the gardening ideas of the poor, alehouse syndicates and fierce rivalries between vegetable growers, flower-fanciers cultivating exotic blooms on their city windowsills, and the rich lore handed down from gardener to gardener through generations.