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Aunt Bumps
Gertrude Jekyll
(1843-1932)

"The love of gardening is a seed, once sown never dies"...GJ

Gertrude JekyllGertrude Jekyll (JEE-kill) was a horticulturalist and garden designer born in England. She is a garden legend. 

She is most remembered for her bold and colorful English garden border. Her free form planting created quite a display. In her youth she was trained as an artist and thought of her garden as a palette. She referred to her own garden at Munstead Woods as garden pictures to be created, and her plant shapes as brush strokes. Such were her methods by clumping large plant material together. These were influences of the impressionist painter J.W. Turner who she admired. 

As a great designer she created over 350 gardens in England and abroad. Few of her gardens have survived. Her friend and architect Edwin Lutyens' children gave her the nickname of Aunt Bumps. She was eccentric as she was loveable and often gave the children rides in her pony cart, going over many "bumps".

In her own garden, which was five acres, she kept a staff of four busy.

Gertrude JekyllHer talent was so immense that she could design without even seeing the actual site. She relied totally on the architectural plans.

One of her most important gardens in the United States was the Glebe House in Woodbury, Connecticut. It is the birthplace of the Episcopal Church and was used as a private house for 150 years. The house has been saved and the garden was restored in 1995-1996.

Two of her gardens, Hester Combe in Somerset and Upton in Hampshire have been restored as well as her own Munstead Wood in Surry.

For Queen Mary's dollhouse, she designed miniature flowers and Edwin Lutyens did the landscaping plans. What fun.

Books written by Ms. Jekyll are: "Wood and Garden", "Old West Surry" and "Colour in the Flower Garden".

For further reading you might refer to:

"The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll" by Richard Bisgrove and Andrew Lawson

"Gertrude Jekyll's Lost Gardens. The Restoration of an Edwardian Masterpiece" by Rosamund Wallingle.

You might want to look at the site for Museum of Garden History - Gertrude Jekyll for more information.