Ladies who garden

Lady-Birley-by-Valerie-Finnis | My Friend's House |Copyright-RHS

Lady Birley by Valerie Finnis – Copyright RHS

Goodness knows I always wear a head scarf with my conical hat when I’m dead-heading the roses. But that’s not a selfie. It’s a photo of Lady Birley – Rhoda, if you’re feeling familiar – tending to her grounds at Charleston Manor, taken from gardener and photographer Valerie Finnis’s book Garden People. It’s also part of the exhibition, Fashion & Gardens, currently showing at the Garden Museum on Lambeth Palace Road. As far as aI can tell, the show explores its subject in two ways: Fashion that’s directly influenced by gardens – with work from Mary Quant, Alexander McQueen and Christopher Bailey among others – and fashion as in people’s garden get-up. Wanna see more of the latter?

Ladys who garden  Dressing to garden  My Friend's House

The top photos are of Vita Sackville-West, bottom left is Beth Chatto and right is Gertrude Jekyll – all of them great gardeners working more than the earth. Makes you think twice about shoving on your old leggings and wellies doesn’t it?

I’ll leave you with another shot of Lady Birley, who knows all about power in evolving your style, but always rocking a good neck scarf.

Lady Birley gardening | Gardening style | My Friend's House






4 Responses to “Ladies who garden”

  1. Vivienne
    February 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    I’m wondering if Lady B’s hat in some way inspired Pharrell?

  2. Wonkypolicy
    February 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Lady Birley was Annabel Goldsmith’s mother-in-law – and Irish too, but worked that grand English lady gardener thing fabulously well…

  3. myfriendshouse
    February 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Have I got my Lady facts mixed up again? I took it as read from this wikipedia entry (in lazy journalist way) that she was one and the same person…

  4. myfriendshouse
    February 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    The idea that Pharell has found his inspiration from a Lady also excellent.

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