Later Life

During her busy life as a garden designer, she executed over 400 commissions, for clients in UK, Europe and America. She ran a prosperous nursery garden business and bred new plants at Munstead Wood (pictured), well into her eighties.
   

c1e5She was a prolific writer throughout her adult life. Starting after her 55th birthday, she wrote 13 books, of which several were revised and republished during her lifetime and she contributed sections to other people’s books. Early editions can sometimes be found from specialised bookshops or dealers, modern editions of most titles are generally available.

 

She also published over 1,000 articles on the subjects in which she had expertise; they were published mostly in Country Life, The Garden and Gardening Illustrated. In 1930 alone, after she had passed her 86th birthday, she wrote 43 articles for Gardening Illustrated. Her style of writing was meticulous, practical and scientific; she played great attention to the details of print and layout; one of her editors said: ‘I would rather have clipped the wings of an archangel’ than tamper with any text which she supplied to a publisher.

 

She died on 9 December 1932, at her home, Munstead Wood in Surrey. She is buried nearby in the churchyard of St John’s church, Bushridge. Her old friend, William Robinson, though very infirm, attended the funeral in a bath chair, at the age of 94. Edwin Lutyens inscribed these words on her gravestone:

 

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ARTIST

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CRAFTSWOMAN