Posted: 21/05/2015 at 15:16
There have been plenty of women with displays in the floral marquee but they tend to have multi-faceted lives and so, like Gertrude Jekyll and Carole Klein they give up exhibiting at Chelsea so they can spend time with family and on other pet plant and garden projects. I think men can be far more single minded far more easily but when a woman's at the top of her game she is indeed excellent.
There have also been plenty of medal winning women garden designers at Chelsea but, again, it's a huge commitment of time and energy and they don't all want to keep doing it year after year. It must also be pretty difficult to find a sponsor and come to an agreement about the basis of any design they do. Just look at that chap who says he's giving up now unless he finds a sponsor who'll let him do what he wants.
There is always a long list of people waiting to get a place at Chelsea. I'm really pleased Sue Beesley/Trillium has a stand this year, even at such short notice, and hope she'll do it again. As far as I 'm concerned they could drop the Barbados and Thai displays and give the space to British or European nurserymen and women selling plants we can grow in our gardens and thus improve their sales and horticultural job prospects and economy too.
As for TV presenters, there seems to be an idea that any women have to be presentable/good looking. What that has to do with their knowledge or presenting skills is beyond me.