Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month

This February we have been really enjoying learning more about the Queer history of roses and horticulture. There have been some wonderful resources and articles published by the RHS, National Trust and various other historical institutions on the social and personal stories of some of the most celebrated names in horticulture, including many namesakes of the roses we know and love – from Octavia Hill, Ellen Willmott and Constance Spry; to Mary Delany, the Duchess of Portland and Sir Cedric Morris.

Here are a few of the interesting and insightful resources we’ve enjoyed this month:

Although there is still a long way to go to fully dismantle the discrimination people within the LGBTQ+ community face, it’s hard to not take some solace from the fact that things have moved on from where they were in centuries past. It is also reassuring to see the gardening community embracing its history and sharing the once secreted stories about key pioneers of our horticultural heritage. Hopefully this will encourage more within the industry to feel safe, respected and included in the joys of gardening, without fear of discrimination or intolerance.

For anyone living or working in the countryside, who’s interested in becoming part of a wider LGBTQ+ community, we thoroughly recommend joining the brilliant Agrespect, who actively promote and support diversity within the countryside. Find out more here: https://agrespect.com/. Or for anyone seeking help and support with their mental health, MindOut is a fantastic mental health service run by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) people.


Roses we’re celebrating this month:

Octavia Hill

Ellen Willmott

Constance Spry

Portland Rose (a.k.a. The Duchess of Portland)

Sir Cedric Morris

David Hockney (coming this summer to Trevor White Roses)

Octavia Hill Constance Spry Ellen Willmott Sir Cedric Morris The Portland Rose