1st Edition

Women and the Collaborative Art of Gardens From Antiquity to the Present

Edited By Victoria E. Pagán, Judith W. Page Copyright 2024
    196 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women and the Collaborative Art of Gardens explores the garden and its agency in the history of the built and natural environments, as evidenced in landscape architecture, literature, art, archaeology, history, photography, and film.

    Throughout the book, each chapter centers the act of collaboration, from garden clubs of the early twentieth century as powerful models of women’s leadership, to the more intimate partnerships between family members, to the delicate relationship between artist and subject. Women emerge in every chapter, whether as gardeners, designers, owners, writers, illustrators, photographers, filmmakers, or subjects, but the contributors to this dynamic collection unseat common assumptions about the role of women in gardens to make manifest the significant ways in which women write themselves into the accounts of garden design, practice, and history. The book reveals the power of gardens to shape human existence, even as humans shape gardens and their representations in a variety of media, including brilliantly illuminated manuscripts, intricately carved architectural spaces, wall paintings, black and white photographs, and wood cuts. Ultimately, the volume reveals that gardens are best apprehended when understood as products of collaboration.

    The book will be of interest to scholars and students of gardens and culture, ancient Rome, art history, British literature, medieval France, film studies, women’s studies, photography, African American Studies, and landscape architecture.


    Victoria E. Pagán


    Chapter 1: Garden Design as Feminist Ground

    Thaïsa Way


    Chapter 2: Pompeian Gardens and the Archaeological Imagination

    Bettina Bergmann


    Chapter 3: The Garden’s Transformational Artifice in Valois France

    Elizabeth Ross


    Chapter 4: Garden Theory, Gardening Practice: William and Dorothy Wordsworth

    Judith W. Page


    Chapter 5: Places for the Spirit, Photographs of Traditional African American Gardens

    Vaughn Sills


    Chapter 6: On the Diagonal, through the Window: Marie Menken’s Glimpse of the Garden, 1957 and Rosalind Nashashibi’s Vivian’s Garden, 2017

    Maureen Turim


    Chapter 7: Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell at Kew Gardens

    Elise L. Smith


    Epilogue: What If We Start with the Garden?

    Judith W. Page


    Victoria E. Pagán is Professor of Classics at the University of Florida, USA.

    Judith W. Page is Professor of English and Distinguished Teaching Scholar Emerita at the University of Florida, USA.

    “This notable anthology crosses disciplinary, theoretical, and racial boundaries to showcase the importance of diverse garden types, as well as the collaborative efforts to create them, especially those of women. As underscored by the authors, the significance of women in shaping garden spaces of all kinds cannot be overstated.”

    Annette Giesecke, Centre for Science in Society, Victoria University of Wellington | Te Herenga Waka, New Zealand


    “The contributors to this volume view gardens as inherently collective ventures that help us understand our place in the world.  Their case studies reference multiple media to document women’s contribution to gardening from antiquity to the present day.  The collection will please and inform readers while advancing the feminist cause.”

    Stephanie Ross, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA 


    Women and the Collaborative Art of Gardens: From Antiquity to the Present offers exciting new interdisciplinary and multi-media perspectives on how gardens have been made, enjoyed, and creatively interpreted from ancient Rome to the present. The focus on women’s role in garden-making is especially welcome. The book will appeal to all those interested in the imaginative adaptation and collaborative experience of gardens.”

    K. Sara Myers, University of Virginia, USA