When I talk about English gardening, I’m referring to the style of garden created by Gertrude Jekyll, the British garden designer, writer and artist. It’s sometimes referred to as “cottage gardening.”
Jekyll was part of the Arts and Crafts Movement, a broader movement in art, architecture, and crafts during the late 1800s which advocated a return to the informal planting style derived as much from the Romantic tradition as from the actual English cottage garden.
The Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1888 began a movement toward an idealized natural country garden style. The garden designs of Jekyll were often associated with Arts and Crafts style houses. She was influenced by William Morris, one of the leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement. She shared Morris’s mystical view of nature and drew on the floral designs in his textiles for her gardening style.
Here are some of her gardens, which are still thriving today:
I adore this gardening style, and so do my bees!
I will be providing some advice, gardening plans and personal experience on this blog, I hope inspired by my Gardening Guiding Spirit, the esteemed Ms. Jekyll.
For more on Gertrude Jekyll and the Victorian Gardening Movement, see The Garden Triumphant by David Stuart