Gertrude Jekyll

The lesson I have thoroughly learned, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. -Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll (29 November 1843 – 8 December 1932; last name pronounced / JEE-kəl) was an influential British garden designer, writer and artist. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and the USA and contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines. She wrote over fifteen books, ranging from Wood and Garden and her most famous book Colour in the Flower Garden.

Gertrude was instrumental in the creation of the English Country Garden style (my personal favorite). This style moved away from the highly formal Victorian garden toward a greater freedom in planting and the inclusion of a wider variety of plants. Attributes included brick paths and herbaceous borders planted with lilies, lupines and lavenders (YES!). She worked almost exclusively with Edwin Lutyens, a British architect, who she met in 1889 and commissioned to design her own house.

Fun Fact: Her brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson; his name may have been borrowed for the title of his famous Jekyll and Hyde story.

Hope she had something other than this dress to garden in ... maybe some Wellies too.
Clematis Montana over Gertrude's workshop window at Munstead Wood in Surrey, England.
The beautiful and very fragrant David Austin rose that bears her name.

Secret Crush

For the past 20 years I have had a secret crush. His name is David Austin. He lives in England. He grows roses. Actually, he creates roses. He even created a new kind of rose … English roses … blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming). They are so beautiful. Who wouldn’t be smitten!

My favorite one (for the moment) is Charlotte or is it Gertrude Jekyll. Well, I’m not sure, but I love them both and they are sooooo fragrant.

The Man Himself

Gertrude Jekyll