Gertrude Jekyll (/ˈdʒiːkəl/ JEE-kəl; 29 November 1843 – 8
December 1932) was a British horticulturist, garden designer,
artist, and writer. She created over 400 gardens in the United
Kingdom, Europe and the United States, and wrote over 1,000
articles for magazines such as Country Life and William Robinson's
The Garden. Jekyll has been described as "a premier influence in
garden design" by British and American gardening enthusiasts.
1 Early life
6 Google Doodle
8 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
Jekyll was born at 2 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London, the fifth of the
seven children of Captain Edward Joseph Hill Jekyll, an officer in the
Grenadier Guards, and his wife Julia Hammersley. Her younger brother,
Walter Jekyll (an Anglican priest; sometime Minor Canon of Worcester
Cathedral and Chaplain of Malta), was a friend of Robert Louis
Stevenson, who borrowed the family name for his famous novella Dr
Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In 1848 her family left London and moved to
Bramley House, Surrey, where she spent her formative years. She never
married and had no children.
Jekyll was one half of one of the most influential and historical
partnerships of the Arts and Crafts movement, thanks to her
association with the English architect, Edwin Lutyens, for whose
projects she created numerous landscapes, and who designed her home
Munstead Wood, near
Godalming in Surrey. (In 1900, Lutyens and
Jekyll's brother Herbert designed the British Pavilion for the Paris
Jekyll is remembered for her outstanding designs and subtle, painterly
approach to the arrangement of the gardens she created, particularly
her "hardy flower borders". Her work is known for its radiant
colour and the brush-like strokes of her plantings; it is suggested by
some that the Impressionistic-style schemes may have been due to
Jekyll's deteriorating eyesight, which largely put an end to her
career as a painter and watercolourist.
She was one of the first of her profession to take into account the
colour, texture, and experience of gardens as aspects of her designs.
Jekyll's theory of how to design with colour was influenced by painter
J.M.W. Turner and by Impressionism, and by the theoretical colour
wheel. Her focus on gardening began at South Kensington School of
Art, where she became interested in the creative art of planting,
and more specifically, gardening. Jekyll later returned to her
childhood home in the village of
Bramley, Surrey to design a garden in
Snowdenham Lane called Millmead.
Not wanting to limit her influence to teaching the practice of
gardening, Jekyll incorporated in her work the theory of gardening and
an understanding of the plants themselves. In works like Colour
Schemes for the Flower Garden (reprinted 1988) she put her imprint on
modern uses of "warm" and "cool" flower colours in gardens. Her
concern that plants should be displayed to best effect even when cut
for the house, led her to design her own range of glass flower
Later in life, Jekyll collected and contributed a vast array of plants
solely for the purpose of preservation to numerous institutions across
Britain. At the time of her death, she had designed over 400 gardens
in Britain, Europe and a few in North America. Jekyll was also known
for her prolific writing. She wrote over fifteen books, ranging from
Wood and Garden and her most famous book Colour in the Flower Garden,
to memoirs of her youth.
She was also interested in traditional cottage furnishings and rural
crafts, and concerned that they were disappearing. Her book Old West
Surrey (1904) records many aspects of 19th-century country life, with
over 300 photographs taken by Jekyll.
Jekyll's restored long border at
Upton Grey Manor House, Hampshire
Hestercombe Gardens, the Lutyens designed bench
Jekyll's plan for a flowerbed
Hestercombe Gardens, borrowed scenery
From 1881, when she laid out the gardens for Munstead House, built for
her mother by John James Stevenson, Jekyll provided designs or planned
planting for some four hundred gardens. More than half were directly
commissioned, but many were created in collaboration with architects
such as Lutyens and Robert Lorimer. Most of her gardens are lost. A
small number have been restored, including her own garden at Munstead
Wood, the gardens of Hestercombe House, and the garden at the Manor
Upton Grey that she designed for the magazine editor Charles
Jekyll was awarded the
Victoria Medal of Honour of the Royal
Horticultural Society in 1897 and the
Veitch Memorial Medal of the
society in 1929. Also in 1929, she was given the George Robert White
Medal of Honor of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
Jekyll is buried in the churchyard of Busbridge Church, formerly known
as St John the Baptist, Busbridge, Godalming, next to her brother,
Herbert Jekyll, and his wife, the artist, writer and philanthropist
Agnes Jekyll. The monument was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
Gertrude Jekyll's gravestone
Jekyll family memorial in
Busbridge Church churchyard
On November 29, 2017, which would have been Jekyll's 174th birthday, a
Google Doodle was released honoring her.
Jekyll, G. Wood and Garden (Longmans, Green and Co., 1899).
Jekyll, G. Home and garden (Longmans, Green and Co., 1900).
Jekyll, G. & Mawley, E. Roses for English Gardens (London: Country
Jekyll, G.. Wall and water gardens (London: Country Life, 1902).
Jekyll, G. Lilies for English gardens (London: Country Life, 1903).
Jekyll, G. & Elgood, G. S (illustrator), Some English gardens
(Longmans, Green & Co., 1904)
Jekyll, G. Old West Surrey (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1904).
Jekyll, G. Colour in the flower garden (London: Country Life, 1908).
Jekyll, G. Annuals & biennials (London: Country Life, 1916)
Jekyll, G. Children and gardens ( London: Country Life, 1908).
Jekyll, G. & Weaver, Lawrence. Gardens for small country houses
(London: Country Life, 1914).
Jekyll, G. Colour schemes for the flower garden (London: Country Life,
The standard author abbreviation Jekyll is used to indicate this
person as the author when citing a botanical name.
Bois des Moutiers
Bois des Moutiers (she designed some gardens of the Bois des
Ralph Hancock (landscape gardener)
Hascombe Court (designed by Jekyll)
History of gardening
Garden of Eden, Venice, the garden of Jekyll's sister Caroline
Miss Jekyll's Boots, painted by William Nicholson at
Munstead Wood in
^ a b c Van Matre, Lynn (26 February 1989). "In Bloom Again: Gertrude
Jekyll`s Cult Status Is In Full Flower". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3
^ Bisgrove, Richard. The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll.London: Frances
^ Tankard, Judith B. and Martin A. Wood.
Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead
Wood. Bramley Books, 1998.
^ Bisgrove, Richard (15 October 1992). "The Gardens of Gertrude
Jekyll". Frances Lincoln – via Amazon.
^ "About Gertrude Jekyll". Archived from the original on 27 October
2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
^ Wood, Martin. The Unknown Gertrude Jekyll.London: Frances Lincoln,
^ Swengley, Nicole (24 November 2010). "
Gertrude Jekyll vase designs
set to sparkle again". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
^ a b c Michael Tooley (2004). Jekyll, Gertrude (1843–1932). Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
^ Betty Massingham (2006 ). Gertrude Jekyll: An Illustrated Life
of Gertrude Jekyll, 1843–1932. Princes Risborough: Shire Press.
^ Desmond, Steven (23 January 2010). "Great British Garden-Makers:
Gertrude Jekyll". Country Life Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
^ "Busbridge War Memorial". Historic England. Retrieved 13 December
^ "Google honors garden designer
Gertrude Jekyll with new
^ IPNI. Jekyll.
Bisgrove, Richard (2000). The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll. Berkeley:
University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22620-8.
Desmond, Steven (23 January 2010). "Great British Garden-Makers:
Gertrude Jekyll". Country Life Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
Eberle, Iwona: Eve with a Spade: Women, Gardens, and Literature in the
Nineteenth Century. Munich: Grin, 2011. ISBN 9783640843558
Sinclair, Jill (16 June 2006). "Review: The Unknown Gertrude Jekyll,
'Queen of the mixed border'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Gertrude Jekyll
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gertrude Jekyll.
Gertrude Jekyll Estate
Restored Jekyll garden in Sandwich, Kent
Restored Jekyll garden at Upton Grey
Short biography of Jekyll from Emily Compost
Online text of Gertrude Jekyll's Colour schemes for the flower garden
Restored Jekyll garden at Durmast House, Burley, Hampshire, UK
Jekyll garden in Woodbury CT, USA
Gertrude Jekyll's garden designs @ Ward's Book of Days
The Times Obituary
Gertrude Jekyll and
Edwin Lutyens garden in france (1898
Detailed family history
Connection between Jekyll, Eden, Baring, Hammersley and
Jekyll (Gertrude) Collection, 1877-1931"Archival material relating to
Gertrude Jekyll". UK National Archives.
Gertrude Jekyll at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
Gertrude Jekyll at Internet Archive
Gertrude Jekyll at
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
ISNI: 0000 0001 0898 5690
BNF: cb12102290f (data)