It has been reported that legislation allowing women equal rights at working men’s clubs has completely changed the character of horticultural shows.
Since the new law came into being in the middle of 2012, women have stepped up to claim a greater share of the prizes in this once male dominated arena.
In an article in The Independent, Simon Kelner explained how greenhouses are now fertile ground in the fight for equality in vegetable growing shows. Women have broken through the greenhouse glass ceiling to become winners in the growing stakes.
Competitive vegetable growing has traditionally been a male bastion, but now the body representing allotment holders has seen female membership grow from a third to a half in recent years, and the age profile is also getting lower.
National Vegetable Society competition success story Sherie Plumb, who has won national prizes for her shallots, potatoes and runner beans, has gone on record saying her winning secrets are: long days in the garden, detailed notes on her performance, and a commitment to drive through the night with her husband to show her exhibits.
Mrs Plumb, 56, told the Financial Times: "We aren't in it for the money. It's the challenge of achieving the perfect vegetable."
It is surprising, considering how many female gardeners there are, that this is one of the few remaining areas of life where women have not previously equalled their male counterparts.
Gabriel Ash would love to hear from women who are using greenhouses to take on the men at horticultural shows.