Almost eighty years after her death, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) is still one of the most influential of all English garden designers. Best known for her superb use of colour schemes in her hallmark flower borders, she combined an early training in art with self taught horticultural skills. Early influences included William Morris, John Ruskin and William Robinson but it is her partnership with the architect Edwin Lutyens that produced some of the most distinctive of Edwardian houses and gardens. From her house (and nursery) at Munstead Wood, Surrey, Jekyll designed over 400 gardens across Britain and Europe, and some in America – where her archive of designs and drawings is now held.
Alongside her close friend Ellen Willmott she was one of the first women to gain the coveted RHS Victoria Medal. Through her articles and books she became the defining voice of early to mid 20th century garden design, creating a style many gardeners still aspire to today. This book will explore her life, influences on her early work in art and crafts, the transfer to Munstead Wood and working relationship with Edwin Lutyens, as well as her own writings and achievements. Her involvement with early women?s gardening schools, and worker?s movements will also be examined afresh. A final chapter will examine her legacy and recent re-assessments and restorations of her work in England and abroad.