Restored Gertrude Jekyll Garden by Cherry Mills


From 1909-1911 the famous landscape designer Gertrude Jekyll created a beautiful garden for a large Arts and Crafts house, on the crest of a hill in Guildford. Sadly the house and gardens were subsequently split up and sold off as separate plots.

Our client had purchased a house which had the central portion of this once beautiful garden, but key elements were now missing and focal points had been lost. Our task was to make sense of the awkwardly divided, multi level, garden which remained. Our design aimed to restore some key features and create new focal points and seating areas, so that the current garden layout had a logical rhythm to it.

We rebuilt the pond and replaced the missing water feature with a beautiful copper ‘Ricinus’ plant fountain. The remaining original brick and stone structures were repaired. Old steps were repointed and overgrown planting was cleared. The two ends of the main lower lawn (once a Rose Garden) were then replanted with better boundary screening. Two new seating areas were created and oriented towards the refurbished pond. The upper lawn area (once the tennis court) had to be reshaped to recreate new beds. New paths and locations for sculpture were added. Very little of Jekyll’s original planting remained, so we introduced new colour schemes to suit the open, south facing chalk slope. Stunning views of the distant hills were maintained and enhanced. Interesting new pieces of sculpture were added to the garden.



“Cherry came highly recommended to me by our architects and we found her extremely attentive, diligent and competent. Cherry researched the history of the garden and incorporated elements into our design brief. Her attention to details, patience and ability to adapt the design to incorporate our personal preferences showed her professionalism. We found that as the years have passed, the garden has evolved, bringing us, friends and family much enjoyment... we were in safe hands!”

Mrs N.S., Guildford, Surrey 2020