Munstead Wood: Gertrude Jekyll’s Home and Garden
In June 2023, the National Trust in the UK announced their acquisition of an important Grade I listed house and garden—Gertrude Jekyll’s home at Munstead Wood. One of the most important garden designers of the early 20th century, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was a prolific writer, skilled businesswoman, and a hugely influential horticulturist. She was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour.
Jekyll designed exquisite gardens at Hestercombe, Deanery Gardens, and Lindisfarne Castle, among others, often collaborating with architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Both worked on Jekyll’s own home and garden, Munstead Wood in Surrey—which the NT called an 11-acre ‘horticultural gem’. Jekyll lived at Munstead Wood from the 1890s until her death in 1932. During that time, she created a woodland garden with under-plantings of flowers and shrubs that could be viewed via a series of walks. She also designed seasonal gardens, such as the Spring Garden, the Hidden Garden, the June Garden, and the 200-foot-long colorful herbaceous border.
Jekyll also introduced at least 30 new varieties of plants in her garden, previously unfamiliar in the UK. She once said of Munstead Wood “My garden is my workshop, my private study, and a place of rest.” Landscape historian and author Judith Tankard will discuss Jekyll’s home and garden, including the designer’s legendary theories on color, planting and design. She will show some of Jekyll’s own photographs and scrapbooks to demonstrate Jekyll‘s brilliance and lasting influence on garden design.
Andy Jasper, Head of Gardens at the National Trust, created a video for Royal Oak members to speak about this important acquisition to the NT’s Garden portfolio. He will discuss the NT’s plans for the garden restoration and opening Munstead Wood to the public so that they can experience this unique house and garden.