The Life and Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll by Leslie Chamberlain
Our April Zoom meeting was a talk by Leslie Chamberlain on The Life and Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll. Gertrude was born in 1843 into a wealthy family and spent her youth living at Bramley House in Surrey. Later she enrolled at the South Kensington School of Art and worked as a painter and watercolourist. She travelled extensively in Europe where the gardens she saw had a great influence on her later garden designs. Her failing eyesight meant that garden design was more suitable than close work and her meeting with Edward Lutyens in 1889 formed a partnership where Gertrude designed gardens to compliment his distinctive style of his architecture. Water rills, pergolas and curved steps along with huge borders filled with wonderful planting schemes were evident in her designs. Many examples are close including Tynley Hall, Vann, Barrington Court and Little Thakenham. In total she created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and US. Her own home, Munstead Wood in Surrey was designed by Lutyens and can be visited by appointment. Gertrude died in 1932 and left a legacy we can all see today and Leslie’s slides brought her story to life to remind us what a pioneer she was.