She is a proponent in the early twentieth century of the affirmation of the professional presence of women in the garden and particularly in horticulture.
With the foundation of one of the first dedicated schools and with an untiring editorial activity in magazines and volumes.
If, as early as the mid-nineteenth century, Jane Webb Loudon had identified, with her handbook Gardening for Ladies, the need to speak, with a practical and informative, and with great public success, of techniques and instruments to an audience of non-specialists, especially women, with the turn of the century, from a pastime finally accessible even for women, gardening becomes the means of professional development and opportunities, an opportunity for identifying identity.
From the many readings and journeys made in Europe to gardens, as well as from the experience of her work in those she creates for educational purposes, Frances Garnet Wolseley will cut out for her pupils a wide training curriculum where practical aspects are almost more relevant than those scientific. Strong of belonging to a circle that sees among the mentors of his College for Lady Gardeners , founded in 1902 in Glynde, in East Sussex, eminent figures like Gertrude Jekyll, Ellen Willmott and William Robinson, our governess identifies the need, especially in these times of “frenzy” for the garden, to ensure quality profiles to the landscape art. An art related to architecture and twins agriculture and horticulture. In short, those of an expert design figure who knows, with the exercise of imagination tempered by technical skills, considering the conformation of the terrain and the spirit of the places, inspired by nature and arranging the artifice of the architectural elements with measure and proportion . All this, declined to the feminine. Even without great egalitarian yearnings – hesitating remain its positions on suffrage and as far as it is concerned in a personal search for independence with respect to the destiny reserved by its high social status, it remains the daughter of the British Empire and the severity of judgments inherited from the father, commander in charge of the army. The Wolseley then presides over the specific professional affirmation of women through the skills acquired by studying and practicing the lesson of gardening.
As already his previous volumes , often told and distilled personal teaching experiences, this is also the Giardini. Forms and design of 1919, published now in Italian at Elliot (pp. 309, € 22.00), is born, as evidenced by the illustrations of Mary G. Campion, as a collection of notes for the courses. With precise technical descriptions from the obsolete vocabulary and a certain irony, rendered in Italian sometimes with difficulty.
But it is in this context that the aspects linked to the clarification of a dashed discipline in the practice of its many applications and to its urban declination, of the planning of public spaces, seen as an opportunity for spreading good taste, are brought into focus. The discipline, and soon the profession, of that landscape architecture that in a decade would have seen on the island, with the foundation of the Institute of Landscape Architects , the birth of a specific trade association, with protagonists like Brenda Colvin and Marjory Allen.