In looking at historical perspectives of the people-plant relationship, accepted histories must be re-read with a fresh outlook, as this subject is not usually documented as such. Women’s history must also be pulled from between the lines of already-written volumes in which their stories are largely omitted, although alluded to occasionally. The special relationship that women share with plants, horticulture, agriculture, botany, etc., can be traced from mythological and biblical stories and allusions through the centuries. The history of women in America, from 1600 to 1900, coincides with the development of “western” horticulture in this country, specifically in terms of personal and public health, happiness and social position (i.e., power)-which are primary manifestations of the people-plant relationship. The pursuit of this research is often like the proverbial “looking for a needle in a haystack,” although 10undocumented and sentimental appraisals of women’s relationship to plants abound, especially in histories of the early years of our nation. The virtually non-existent literacy rate among Colonial women makes early, first-hand accounts very rare. Prescriptive literature written by men does, however, make clear many of the goodwife’s skills and responsibilities. As literacy increased from 1600 to 1900, women’s letters and diaries, as well as published garden notes and even botanical field guides, attest to the special relationship that women have shared with plants and horticulture from pre-history to the present.