Edwin Lutyens, one of England's most renown architects, Gertrude Jekyll, the garden designer with whom Lutyens often collaborated, and Vita Sackville-West, creator of Sissinghurst, one of the most beautiful gardens in England - all three of these icons helped to create the English design aesthetic and still influence it today. They have certainly had an effect upon me. After exploring the work of these three a bit, I'll end today's post with two kitchens from Plain English Design a firm which, even though a contemporary one, seems to suit the style of our three earlier icons.
Edwin Lutyens lived from 1869-1944 and designed many country houses world wide. His roots are in classicism but he breathed "new life into traditional forms." Gertrude Jekyll met him later in her life and the two collaborated on many projects. Sadly many of Jekyll's gardens were ephemeral as gardens will be, but many of Lutyens houses still exist as seen in Sir Edwin Lutyens, by Elizabeth Wilhide (2000).
Below is Munstead Wood in Surrey, the home Lutyens designed for Jekyll and the garden is of course her own design.
Lutyens wall at Grey Walls made of a variety of stone.
A close up of Le Bois de Moutiers, a Lutyens design in France well known for its hydrangeas.
Another view with hydrangeas.
A view of its boxwood gardens.
A rather blurry image of the Lindisfarne kitchen. Blurry or not, I love this kitchen with its display of blue and white transfer ware, copper utensils, and very English stove with tea set out in front.
Lutyens daughter's London kitchen gives us an sample of his furniture design.
Little Thakeham's (Don't you love the name Little Thakeham?) "south facing oriel window." Lighting was important to Lutyens and "he took particular care over the orientation of his buildings."
Does much of Lutyens's design remind you of Bobby Alpine's? Alpine has said that he has been much influenced by Lutyens as seen below.
And the Lutyens-designed bench is still seen in many contemporary gardens.
Now onto the two garden designers. First we will view Lutyens's collaborator, Gertrude Jekyll. Jekyll, when younger, was an artist on canvas. When her eyesight began to fail her, she turned to a larger canvas - the garden.
The image below and those following are from Judith B. Tankard's book, Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden. I highly recommend this and the other books mentioned in this post. All are inspirational to the gardener and the lover of English design. Here we see a door leading to Jekyll's garden. The rose growing over the door and the soil on its bottom are equally charming. And the hardware! It's all so English.
Doesn't get much better than this - a Lutyens architectural design and a Jekyll garden design. They were such a creative duo. This is Munstead Wood, the home Jekyll had Lutyens design and then she surrounded it with her garden design.
Different view of Munstead Wood.
The gate below reminds me a bit of Frolic Weymouth's garden gate in Pennsylvania. (My fantasy houses will all have garden gates.)
Her woodland garden.
Jekyll's drawing room at Mustead Wood. Wish it were in color. Do you remember the film, The French Lieutenant's Woman? This room, especially the staircase, reminds me of the home Meryl Streep lived in at the movie's end. If you've never seen the film, rent it.