"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I wish I could have known Gertrude...........

or at least have a chance to know someone like her..............

This is Gertrude Jekyll...........and yes, the family name was borrowed from their friend...........
Her brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson; who wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
But the reason I would have loved to have known her is because..........

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America; her influence on garden design has been pervasive to this day. She spent most of her life in Surrey, England, latterly at Munstead Wood, Godalming. She ran a garden centre there and bred many new plants. Some of her gardens have been faithfully restored, wholly or partly, and can be visited. Godalming Museum has many of her notebooks and copies of all her garden drawings, (compiled and sorted by members of the Surrey Gardens Trust); the original drawings are in the University of California.
Her own books about gardening are widely read in modern editions; much has been written about her by others. She contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines.
Jekyll was an artist, craftswoman, writer and gardener. As a girl, Gertrude Jekyll lived at Bramley House, near Guildford. Her own house was built nearby, at Munstead Wood. Edwin Lutyens was the architect. Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens later worked together on other gardens and had perhaps the most famous partnership in English garden history. Many commentators state that Lutyens designed the garden and Jekyll designed the planting. Given their respective ages, and Jekyll's natural authority, it seems more likely that Gertrude Jekyll conceived the garden design and her young assistant worked up the details
She was much influenced by Arts & Crafts principles.
Munstead Wood Garden
To historians, this is one of the most famous gardens in England. It belonged to Gertrude Jekyll and she employed Edwin Lutyens to design the house. Construction began in 1895. The house is in excellent condition and the garden, though greatly changed is being restored. One of the problems is that for her 'small garden' of 15 acres, Jekyll employed 14 gardeners

I live on 13 acres..............if I could get 14 people to help me..............I would do it!!

Hestercombe Gardens

Just look at her all dressed up........
You do not want to see what I look like out in my garden................
I promise!!

Upton Grey Garden

Heywood Gardens
Look at this pond she designed.................
and I thought I was so clever to get my husband to make my pond out of an old satelite dish..........
what would she have thought???

Any lady that loves cats in her garden is a kindered spirit for me!!

Upton Grey
The Manor House, Upton Grey
The 15th century Manor House was altered by Ernest Newton in 1903-1905 for Charles Holme, founder of the leading Arts and Crafts magazine The Studio. The garden was designed and planted in 1908 and 1909 by Gertrude Jekyll. This is the most accurately and fully restored of her gardens. The garden consists of a Wild garden where grass paths run amongst rambling roses, shrubs and trees to a planted pond. The Formal garden holds herbaceous borders with colours running from cool colours at either end to hot in the centre, a rose lawn, planted drystone walls, bowing and tennis lawns. This is surrounded by a nuttery, kitchen garden, and orchard with pergolas and arbours

If Gertrude were here, I would lead her through all of this prickly and thorny woods, pointing out the crooked mesquite trees with their rough bark, the red berries on the juniper bush, and the wild , weird creatures that inhabit this land...........all of the things that you, dear readers, have seen............do you think she would throw up her hands and run away as quick as she could jump the barbed wire fence??
What would she think of this dry, parched and prickly piece of earth, that I think is heaven??
I can tell you now, she would not make it in that long, heavy dress, out in this hot Texas heat..........
it was 110 here the other day.

No, I think if Gertrude were here, she and I would be sitting here in the shade.............
dreaming about the garden I could create.................once it cooled down enough..........
How about you?
Have you heard of Gertrude?
Or maybe you are inspired by another great gardener.............
perhaps someone in your own family?
I would love to hear.
The country's birthday is almost here........
If you are looking for a wonderful festive, rich and creamy desset for your guests this holiday,
visit my cooking blog for the recipe!
Just click onto this link........
Have a safe and happy celebration!

13 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Oh, my, you did a wonderful post about a very great gardening lady... complete with wonderful pictures! What a tribute! I enjoyed it very much, and yes, sometimes I wish I had 14 gardeners here!

Muddling Through said...

What a great post, Kathleen! I have read about Gertrude, but you brought out some things I don't remember. I especially like that she lived to a ripe old age even though she was not the healthy size touted today. It seems to me that the more you enjoy your life and what you do, the more likely you are to have a long, happy life.

janice15 said...

I loved your posted about Gertrude, I have never heard about her. But I truly enjoyed reading and learning about her and her gardens. The pictures are just lovely...lol and I got to the garden early morning in my pj's most of the time...and you wouldn't believe they are starting to have stains on them from the dirt...I keep telling myself I'm not going to do that but always do...Cause at 7am I don't think I want to dress up...thank you for sharing it was lovely...I'm your newest follower...Plz come visit me as well sometime..@spoonwither.blogspot.com.Have a wonderful Sunday..with love Janice

romance-of-roses said...

Love this post. My mother was a great gardener, folks would come over just to see her garden. Her work was admired by many, it was the prettiest garden in all the neighborhood. Thank you for sharing, Hugs...Lu

April said...

Thank you for sharing about Gertrude.. Now I want to know more! I do think she would have a problem jumping that barbed wire fence in that dress!!! lol I am just glad we do not have to wear those clothes in this hot weather.. and How are your plants staying so green? lol Here in Bama it was 103 today been in the 100's all week and my grass in brown and plants are looking bad.. I am watering every day.. Maybe I need Gertrude's 14 gardener to keep my 3 arces alive!!! lol

Daisy said...

What a fascinating lady she was. I enjoyed this post, Kathleen. I hope you enjoy your Sunday!

halloweencouple said...

I had never heard of Gertrude, and now have something to occupy my time in looking for photos of her garden designs.

In the heat wave we are having here on the East Coast, her dresses may have been a bit to warm, or they could be the answer to staying cool :)

I can't imagine 14 gardens, I have just one and it consumes my time...

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

There is a little herb shop here in town that sells the munstead lavender, its so pretty and is good as a border plant. Gertrude was a bit of a garden revolutionary, she turned her back on the decades of the Capability Brown designs, very tight , with those close to the ground garden designs that looked almost like carpets, and got her inspiration from the cottage gardens she loved growing up.
Wonderful post!
xx
julie

Sunny said...

Very interesting post, Kathleen. I had not heard of her previously. I am amazed that she took care of all those gardens!! Whew! I am doing well to take care of my 3 raised beds this year, oh yeh and don't even look at my flower beds... they're a site! I need a Gertrude in my garden :-/

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

What an interesting story! I had never heard of her!
I love Sharon Lovejoy's blog and have been following Susan Branch's trip through England and all the lovely gardens and ancient buildings! It is so charming, I want to go there so much!

Terry and Linda said...

What a wonderful post!!!

Happy 4th of July!!!


Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Marie said...

I had never heard of Gertrude Jekyll but was fascinated with your post! I enjoy learning about history and this is especially interesting as it is about a woman who adored designing and growing beautiful gardens...that's the biggest problem with gardening...no help. If I had a staff of gardeners, oh what I wouldn't create too! :-) But, I love her ideas and her beautiful house. It was so interesting to read about her today.

Conni said...

Very much enjoyed reading about Gertrude Jekyll - thanks for another informative post!