Over the last hundred years few would doubt the great influence Gertrude Jekyll
had on garden design. In her lifetime Jekyll was a prolific garden designer creating over 400 gardens; she was a plantswoman extraordinaire, painter and writer, however she is perhaps best remembered for her association with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens
and together they left an unrivalled gardening legacy.
Our tour stretches like a colourful thread across the south of England, from the Home Counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, where she lived for most of her life, to the southern counties of England and into the scenic West Country where many of her commissions are located. We start our tour visiting the two outstanding private estates of Buckhurst Park
and Gravetye Manor
. We will also visit Godalming’s small museum which is home to many of Jekyll’s original garden drawings before looking round the distinctive garden rooms at Loseley Park, Vann
and Upton Grey
Perhaps the highlight of this holiday will be the rare chance to visit Munstead Wood
, Jekyll’s home for almost 40 years. We then head south-west to visit two stunning gardens, a private property at Bramdean
, near Alresford and the gardens at historic Heale House
, just north of Salisbury, before continuing to our hotel for the next three nights in the small Somerset town of Ilminster.East Lambrook Manor, Cothay Manor, Lydeard House
and Barrington Court
all have strong Jekyll and Lutyens’ influences and will be a joy to behold. A visit to Hestercombe
with its stunning Edwardian garden completes our tour before we head for home.Tour Highlights:
For further background information you may like to look at the following websites:http://www.buckhurstpark.co.uk/http://www.gravetyemanor.co.uk/http://www.loseleypark.co.uk/http://www.vanngarden.co.uk/http://www.gertrudejekyllgarden.co.uk/http://www.munsteadwood.org.uk/http://healegarden.co.uk/http://www.eastlambrook.com/pages/http://www.cothaymanor.co.uk/http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/find-a-garden/garden.aspx?id=31195http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/barrington-court/http://www.hestercombe.com/
- The enchanting woodland water garden at Vann
- The lovingly restored gardens at Upton Grey Manor House
- Afternoon tea at Gavetye Manor
- Munstead Wood, Gertrude Jekyll’s own private haven
- East Lambrook – the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’
Sunday 4 June 2017
We depart this morning by coach from our pick-up point in central London, with a further pick-up at Gatwick en route. We will begin with a visit to the gardens of Vann, which incorporates Gertrude Jekyll’s 1911 water garden. Other notable features include an old cottage garden, a pergola, a quarter-acre pond, mixed borders and island beds and a crinkle-crankle wall.
We conclude today with a visit to Loseley Park, a highlight of which is the Walled Garden, an extensive area divided into ‘rooms’, each with its own rare planting scheme and personality. The Flower Garden has a maze of pathways and secluded corners, whereas the White Garden boasts spectacular, showy, blooms with subtle, silver and grey foliage.
We continue to our hotel, where dinner will be served in the evening.
Monday 5 June 2017
Today, following breakfast, we will visit the garden at Buckhurst Park, near Tunbridge Wells. Built around a house that dates from 1603, the grounds and garden encompass the combined works of Humphrey Repton, Sir Edwin Lutyens and the planting work of Gertrude Jekyll. Features include an eye-catching ornamental waterfall created by James Pulham and stunning pergolas and lily ponds. Possibly the most famous area of the grounds is the 100 Acre Wood, immortalised by A A Milne in Winnie the Pooh.
In the afternoon we will visit the gardens at Gravetye Manor, where afternoon tea is included. Gravetye was home to William Robinson, one of the greatest gardeners of all time, who bought the manor in 1884 and it was his home until he died, well into his nineties in 1935. It was at Gravetye he realised many of his ideals for the creation of The English Natural Garden, of which he was a pioneer. The variety and charm of the arrangement of trees and shrubs, the landscaping and the layout of different types of garden at Gravetye is still his creation and memorial. Post war and until the late 1950s Gravetye's gardens saw general neglect and became even wilder! In 1958, a pioneering hotelier, Peter Herbert came to Gravetye and established one of Britain's first country house hotels. Over 40 years later the gardens saw enormous revival of their fortunes, and projects such as the restoration of the kitchen garden and peach house were completed.
We will return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Tuesday 6 June 2017
After breakfast, we begin the day with a visit to Upton Grey Manor House, which is believed to be the most comprehensive and authentic Jekyll garden in existence - a living museum of the Jekyll design. On a 4.5 acre sloping, chalky site she designed one of her most beautiful gardens, which includes many features of a typical Jekyll garden, but on a rather smaller scale than many of her commissions. To the north-west of the house stands the Wild garden, planted with wild flowers such as buttercups, meadowsweet, oxlips and wood anemones, and thickets of wild roses – a perfect scene of an informal English kind. In contrast, to the south-east is the Formal garden where, following a strict geometric outline, Jekyll designed a rose garden and typical herbaceous borders. Here colours run in drifts from cool (blues and whites) to hot (reds and oranges) and out to cool again. Outside the protective yew hedging lie the nuttery, orchard, kitchen garden, stable cottage and cottage beds. The whole is faithfully restored according to the plans that Jekyll prepared.
We continue with a visit to the small and friendly Godalming Museum, which is housed in a listed medieval building, whose oak beams have been dated to 1446. Of particular interest is the Arts and Crafts gallery, which displays paintings, ceramics, embroidery and architectural designs including works by Gertrude Jekyll, Sir Edwin Lutyens and other followers of the Arts and Crafts movement. There is also a tranquil Jekyll-style courtyard garden, filled with the scent of old fashioned roses and honeysuckle.
Following this we will then visit the garden at Munstead Wood, near Godalming, which is where Gertrude Jekyll lived until her death in 1932 and was the scene of her highly influential garden experiments and ideas. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches and chestnuts. South of the house a lawn spreads out, from which the Broad Walk and other paths lead into the woodland. Here Miss Jekyll planted many rhododendrons, narcissi, a lily walk and an azalea clearing, while the garden to the north-west was more formal in character.
We return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Wednesday 7 June 2017
Following breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and head southwest, for our visit to the private garden of Bramdean, near Alresford in Hampshire. The garden is notable for its mirror-image herbaceous borders, along with a large and unusual collection of plants and shrubs, a small arboretum and a walled garden featuring prize-winning vegetables, fruit and flowers.
We continue to the gardens of Heale House, just north of Salisbury in Wiltshire. The timeless atmosphere at Heale is the result of the creative endeavours of many generations of the Rasch family, who still live in the house, each inspired to leave their mark on a place through which the sparkling tributaries of the River Avon flow. Trout-filled streams crossing under the authentic Japanese tea house and below the red Nikko bridge meander through the woodland garden, a rich gardener's paradise. Colour-themed borders add contemporary drama and the vegetable garden decorative apple tunnels separate the beds that still supply the house.
We continue to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.
Thursday 8 June 2017
Today, after breakfast, we visit East Lambrook, near South Petherton in Somerset, recognised throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’, having been created in the 1940s, 50s and 60s by the late gardening icon, Margery Fish. Mrs Fish entered the world of gardening late in her life and as a novice she showed a quite brilliant talent for artlessly mixing the everyday plants with the rarer species, with an eye for colour, texture and form. Her informal style of planting was unique and her work as an outstanding plantswoman, writer and journalist has made her one of the most important influences on gardening in the 20th century. Indeed, today’s mixed borders are a direct descendant of the style Margery Fish created here at East Lambrook Manor. Now, in the new millennium, visitors can continue to enjoy the gardens while also visiting the famous ‘Margery Fish Plant Nursery’, which remains a place of pilgrimage for keen plant buyers. A specially designed display bed showcases an extensive and nationally recognised collection of hardy geraniums.
We then head for the gardens of Barrington Court. The enchanting, Jekyll-inspired formal gardens are laid out in a series of walled rooms and include the White, Rose, Iris and Lily Gardens.
We return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Friday 9 June 2017
After breakfast, we will visit the private garden at Lydeard House, near Taunton. This 19th century garden has a river running through it and features a rose arbour over one hundred feet long. There is also a Japanese garden, a courtyard knot garden and a walled vegetable garden all set within beautiful grounds surrounding the earlier house.
Then we proceed to Cothay Manor, a magical, romantic garden that surrounds what is said to be the most perfect example of a small, classic, medieval manor. There are a number of garden rooms, each a garden in itself, set off by a 200 yard yew walk. In addition there is a bog garden with azaleas and drifts of primuli, fine trees, a cottage garden and river walk. With its wide range of plants, beautifully presented, this is truly a plantsman’s paradise.
We return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Saturday 10 June 2017
Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for our final visit, Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. The garden is home to a round pool in a round walled garden filled with wintersweet and roses, a Dutch garden of lamb's ears, lavender and the most beautiful orangery of the 20th century. Everywhere there are details of design and planting from which any gardener can learn.
Following our visit here we return to our original pick-up points.
- Six nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: three nights at the Hogs’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham and three nights at the Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster
- Comfortable coaching throughout
- Admission to the gardens of Buckhurst Park, Gravetye Manor (including afternoon tea), Upton Grey Manor House, Loseley Park, Munstead Wood, Vann, Bramdean House, Heale House, Cothay Manor, East Lambrook, Lydeard House, Hestercombe and Barrington Court plus entry to Godalming Museum
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Single room supplement £150.00
- Insurance £24.00 (under 65); £48.00 (65-74); £72.00 (75-90)
- Rail/air connections and overnight accommodation in London or Gatwick before or after the tour available on request
London (Tothill St, Westminster) 0900 1800
Gatwick (Copthorne London Gatwick Hotel) 1015 1645
Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.
The same 6-night tour with flights included from Edinburgh (other airports on request) to London Gatwick is available from £1095.00 per person. (Single supplement - £150pp)