Caroline Ikin Zoom Lecture: Gertrude Jekyll and Munstead Wood: the home of the ‘artist-gardener’

February 22, 2024 @ 7:30 pm
Zoom Lecture
Nichola Monk
Hugh Mothersole archway, Munstead Wood. Image ©National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole.

Dr Caroline Ikin is the National Trust Curator at Munstead Wood.

She has previously worked in museums and for the Gardens Trust and her research interest is in nineteenth century art, architecture and gardens.

She is author of The Victorian Garden (2012), The Victorian Gardener (2014), The Kitchen Garden (2017) and has written for the Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyGarden HistoryFurniture HistoryMuseums Journal and various other publications, and was awarded the Mavis Batey Essay Prize in 2022. She has lectured widely, including at the Gardens Trust, V&A, Watts Gallery, Furniture History Society and Oxford University.

Munstead Wood, near Godalming in Surrey, was the home of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). In 1882 she began to create a 15-acre garden which became a place of experimentation, particularly in the colour combinations of hardy flower borders.

She designed areas to flower in different seasons and laid out a woodland garden, following the wild gardening principles of her friend William Robinson. She also established a nursery in the garden to supply clients with the plants specified in her designs, and bred over thirty new varieties from plants collected by her in Britain and Europe.

Jekyll wrote fifteen books and over a thousand articles which offer an extraordinary record of her gardening activities at Munstead Wood, along with photographs, planting plans and plant lists.

The National Trust acquired Munstead Wood in April 2023 and plans are underway to restore the garden and explore ways of interpreting Jekyll’s legacy.