Visiting Jekyll Gardens
There a number of gardens to visit, which were wholly or partly designed by Gertrude Jekyll, influenced by her or similar to her gardens. Some of them are regularly open, while others usually are open on occasion or by special arrangement; owners vary from families and individuals, who are very proud to show off their gardens, to politicians and educational institutions; among the owners are hotels, restaurants and at least one care home, whose garden may have been influenced by her www.birtleyhouse.co.uk in the village of Bramley, where she spent much of her childhood. Some Russian oligarchs, Arab princes or instutitions are not always disposed to welcome visitors. Most of her gardens have partially or totally disappeared because of war, development or ownership changes, but many of her original plans survive at the University of California, Berkeley; in Woking, England, the Surrey History Centre has microfiches of these plans.
Visiting the gardens
Most of her gardens are in the home counties of England, easily accessible from London. In USA, which she never visited, she designed three gardens; one of them has survived and is open to the public, The Glebe House, Woodbury, Connecticut. In France, the Parc des Moutiers, near Dieppe, was a Lutyens work, with design work from Gertrude Jekyll and it is open to the public.
This section of the web site divides gardens into those one hour’s drive or more from London, those less than an hour and gardens outside Britain, as shown in the menu bar above. Great efforts have been made by owners to restore and maintain their Jekyll gardens, on the basis of her original plans. It is now possible to have a good idea of what her gardens were like by visiting some of these gardens. One can enjoy a visit to one of the fine hotel/restaurants with well maintained Jekyll gardens (reservations normally needed). The fact that there may be no evidence of Gertrude Jekyll’s input in certain supposedly ‘Jekyll’ gardens need not diminish the pleaure of a visitor’s experience.
Useful publications for visitors and students
Properties owned by the National Trust are marked NT; the opening times are given in the Trust’s handbook, which is published each February. Using the Trust’s web site search facility, one can find references to Gertrude Jekyll and her gardens owned and maintained by the Trust. The National Trust was founded in 1895 to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty. It owns and manages 200 houses and gardens, open to the public, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In parallel, the National Trust for Scotland, founded in 1931, preserves places of historic interest or natural beauty in Scotland. There is at least one garden in Scotland, with Jekyll influence, at Greywalls, near Edinburgh, a Lutyens house, now a fine hotel by Muirfield golf course.
Properties marked NGS are part of the National Gardens Scheme; the scheme enables visitors to see gardens in private ownership, which are open on a limited number of days each year, with the proceeds going to charity. Opening times and other details are to be found in the ‘Yellow book‘, published each February. Using the NGS web site’s search facility, one can find references to Gertrude Jekyll and her gardens within the NGS arrangements, including her own one, Munstead Wood.A comprehensive list of gardens designed by her is to be found in several of the books about her life and work, including Gertrude Jekyll; Essays on the life of a working amateur (listed chronologically) and Gertrude Jekyll at
Munstead Wood (listed alphabetically)