“I hold the best…

Gertrude Jekyll and the Cottage Garden

Gertrude Jekyll and the Cottage Garden


“I hold the best purpose of a garden is to give delight and to give refreshment of mind, to soothe, to refine, and to lift up the heart in a spirit of praise and thankfulness.”

-Gertrude Jekyll, Color schemes for the Flower Garden, 1908

Gertrude Jekyll was the first woman to act as a professional landscape designer. Jekyll started as an art student and learned to paint in the expressionist style. This later influenced her landscape and planting design. Her nearsightedness assisted her in conceiving garden schemes less in terms of individual plants than as shapes, textures, and broad masses of color. One of her most important contributions was designing gardens as a series of seasonal scenes, appearing like different exhibitions planned throughout the year. Her designs featured broad arching plant forms, most often hanging over stone walls. The cottage garden developed parallel to the Arts and Crafts movement in architecture and Jekyll was influenced by this. A Jekyll garden was very detailed and focused on craftsmanship.