Ellen Willmott is thought to have cultivated more than 100,000 different species of plants. She joined the RHS in 1894, and became a prominent member. She was one of only two women to receive a newly-instituted Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897. This was awarded to the British horticulturist whom the RHS considered worthy of special honour. The other recipient was her contemporary, Gertrude Jekyll. She was also one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London.An exacting employer, she would reputedly sack any gardener who allowed a weed to grow. She would not employ female gardeners, and was quoted as saying “women would be a disaster in the border”.She published two books, Warley Garden in Spring and Summer in 1909 and The Genus Rosa, published in two volumes between 1910 and 1914.