October 2016

Mrs Sue Robinson, our September speaker, gave a talk on “The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll & Edwin Lutyens.

Members were given “a photographic tour” around some of the many gardens that these two experts, one in horticulture and the other in architecture, influenced over the decades they worked together.

As we visited each garden, the ‘trademarks’ of their styles were pointed out – the overflowing herbaceous borders in hot or cool colours; the varying levels in the garden incorporating water; semi-circular steps leading to balustraded terraces; the Lutyens style garden bench; the various building fabrics used in the garden for paths, patios and similarly on each building to emphasise doors and features; the tall chimneys; windows with small panes of glass strategically placed to take advantage of the vistas – their skills complimented each other and they became the “dream team” of house and garden design in the early 20th Century.

Gertrude Jekyll provided garden designs or planned plantings for 400+ gardens, of which almost half were created as a collaboration with Lutyens. Many of the meticulous plans that Gertrude Jekyll produced have been preserved and although over time numerous gardens have been lost the National Trust, English Heritage and some of the larger private houses are now using these plans to restore their gardens to the how they were initially envisaged.

Her skill and passion for gardening was recognised by the RHS and she was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897 and the Veitch Memorial Medal in 1929.