Attitudes to women and gardening in Cyprus

Do men and women garden differently in other countries? It certainly seems so according to Patricia Jordan who now lives in Cyprus and runs the Garden Club of Cyprus.

Patricia, and her husband, Howard, moved to Cyprus in 2000. Patricia had had a long and illustrious involvement in gardening in Scotland. In 2000, she was awarded the 'Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Medal' by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society for outstanding service to Scottish Horticulture. For many years she was involved with the NCCPG running newsletters and plant exchanges, as well as holding three national collections of hosta, ligularia and anthemis tinctoria.

But Patricia was in for a bit of a surprise when they moved to Cyprus and it wasn't only about re-adjusting to the hot summer weather. [The week Patricia wrote to me, they had had temperatures of 45.6C.] She found she was taking on some unexpected challenges not least attitudes to women and gardening.

'It was rather like going back to the beginning of your book [Gardening Women], writes Patricia.  'Women are there to tend herbs and men do the serious gardening.  In fact when I first set about gardening here no man would talk to me about fruit and nut trees, which were new to us, so we set about working it out for ourselves. Since then I have written three books about gardening here, so I think have broken through the barrier at last!  My first book, The Cyprus Garden, has been translated into Greek, but is on hold due to the financial situation at the moment.

'I am aided by my under-gardener,[husband Howard], she adds, 'whom I [still have to] refer Cypriot men to for tree advice!'

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