|‘Lady Jane’ tulips in bloom
I find it interesting that in some old gardening books, the authors felt compelled to point out that women can indeed garden.
J. B. Whiting wrote in his 1849 book, Manual of Flower Gardening for Ladies: With Directions for the Propagation and Management of the Plants Usually Cultivated in the Flower Garden:
“Gardening is not only one of the most innocent, but, when practised merely as a recreation, one of the most healthful, of all occupations; and, for these reasons, it is especially suitable, as an exercise both of the mind and the body, for ladies who pass much of their time in the country. To watch and tend the delicate seedling, through all the stages of its gradual development until it becomes a perfect plant; to mark the unfolding of the tender young leaves, and to observe the progressive expansion of the flower-buds into full-blown flowers, seems a peculiarly fitting employment for a refined and gentle female.”
There you have it. Gardening is innocent, recreational and healthful! It exercises the mind and the body. It also involves quite a bit of watching plants. All good, especially, if one is refined, and gentle, and female.
Ladies, go forth and garden with the blessings of J. B. Whiting.