This important album of photographs by the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll provides illuminating insight into the sources of her ideas and practice.

Jekyll began taking photographs in 1885, with her brother Sir Herbert Jekyll acting as her teacher. Her subject was the vernacular architecture and gardens around the family home at Munstead Wood, Surrey. She made photo-notebooks using her prints – six volumes of these are now held at Berkeley, University of California – but she assembled this album as a carefully edited selection of the notebook pictures. Some of the landscapes and planting seen in the photographs directly inspired Jekyll’s later designs, including her own garden at Munstead Wood, the house created for her by the architect Edwin Lutyens. A selection of the photographs also appeared in Jekyll’s influential books, such as Wood and Garden (1899) and Old West Surrey (1904). This rare album, originally sold as part of the Jekyll estate auction in 1948, now joins her desk at the Garden Museum as the only volume of photographs by the 20th century’s most influential garden designer in a British public collection.


Paul F Walter, Christie's South Kensington, 10 March 1977, lot number 386; Hans Kraus, Sotheby's, 2001, lot number 185

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