Great British Garden Designers Gertrude Jekyll
Surrey based Garden designer Gertrude Jekyll was one of the most influential garden designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Spending most of her life in Surrey she grew up in the surrey family home of Bramley House, and spent her later years in her surrey home Munstead Wood in Godalming. She creating stunning garden designs capturing the beauty of both natural and formal styles. Jekyll’s passion for arts and crafts and creative background was inspired by the Arts and Craft Movement where she established a formidable partnership with architect Edwin Lutyens. Together they fused architecture and landscaping as one stunning design carving out structure with well thought out planting, colour schemes and textures elevating and bringing alive garden designs.
Gertrude’s design principles used architectural features to frame the overall design. Nestled within, sections were carved out, each part carefully complimenting the other. She strived to reflect the beauty of the natural landscape in a traditional English style, applying plants in a variety of settings such as woodland and water gardens with sweet scenting herbaceous borders of a grand scale. Colour schemes were carefully balanced from cool fresh tones of white and blue to warm and vibrant oranges and reds working harmoniously together.
There are many fine examples of Jekyll’s garden designs dotted throughout the home counties including her home county of Surrey and the bordering county of Hampshire. One garden design in Hampshire, The Manor House in Upton Grey showcases Jekyll’s exemplary style and finesse. Three garden styles offer up a host of functionality and style. The Formal garden offers structure and formality framed with manicured lush yew hedging where Jekyll’s traditional English style can be appreciated and admired. A pergola with an array of climbing plants entwining and reaching up high embrace the structure taking central stage, the Rose garden delights the senses with sweet scented aromas and delightful shades of colour. The wild garden with natural trimmed grass paths are surrounded by longer grasses, shrubs and walnut trees leading the way through to the pond. The Kitchen garden is home to herbaceous plants, vegetables and fruit with an array of spectacular colours which bring the garden alive throughout the seasons.
Of the over 400 garden Jekyll designed a staggering 140 garden designs are based in Surrey itself. These include the garden designs for No.28 Albany Park Road Kingston Upon Thames in 1921, Fisher’s Hill Woking designed in 1901, Great House Hambledon 1919, Mavins End Farnham 1922, and Normans Wood Farnham designed in 1919. You can view plans of some of her Surrey garden designs by visiting www.surreygardenstrust.org.uk
Jekyll’s love for art and clever colour schemes have become admired and appreciated throughout the years. She has influenced many garden designs throughout history, bringing together cool and warm dazzling tones together as one, making colour accessible to all gardeners with a love of Jekyll finesse. Indeed, modern day landscaping in many garden designs today, can be traced back to Jekyll’s passion to reflect natural landscape and beauty within, whilst encapsulating the true quintessential English style.
Jekyll is layed to rest in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Busbridge, Godalming, Surrey.