I am reading a book by Gertrude Jekyll. Such a fascinating read. Entertaining. Recognisable and still relevant. Want to read all of her books. It is easy to understand why she was and still is one of the most influential English gardening personalities. During her time she created gardens in the UK, Europe and the US, she wrote over a thousand articles and twenty books. Her first book ‘Wood and Garden’ was published in 1899. The quotes are from that book:
….the love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.
…the lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, i to know the enduring happiness that the love of garden gives.
… a garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust.
The size of a garden has very little to do with its merit. It’s merely an accident relating to the circumstances of the owner.
The grand way to learn, in gardening as in all things else, is to wish to learn, and to be determined to find out – not to think that anyone person can wave a wand a give the power and knowledge.
Gertrude was born in 1843. She was active during the Arts and crafts movement and was a multifaceted woman who actually wanted to be an artist.The problems she had with her sight made it difficult to carry on painting full time. Instead she dedicated herself to the creation of gardens but was also a photographer, designer and smith among other things. Many of her images were used in the books she diligently wrote and despite her bad eyesight she carried on drawing and painting. Gertrude also ran a nursery that supplied many of her design commissions with plants. Together with predominantly Edwin Lutyens, who was an architect, she designed a thought through continuity between house and garden in the commissions they took on.