We are developing more historically accurate planting plans at Hestercombe after the discovery of two beautiful paintings from the era of Gertrude Jekyll.
The historical significance of the gardens has always been the cornerstone of our restoration work and current gardening practices. Maps, photographs, written records and Gertrude Jekyll’s plans have all been analysed in considerable detail to ensure we create a garden as close to the original design as possible.
Despite having carried out the core restoration work to the Formal Gardens we’re continually ‘playing detective’ to refine the gardens for complete authenticity. Where possible, exact plant species noted on historical plans are used. If this is not known or lost from current production we match as closely as possible using similar varieties .
HENRY GEORGE MOON (1857-1905) In the flower border at Munstead
An exciting discovery
A timely sale of work by 19th century botanical artist Henry Moon has now helped us get closer to solving the latest piece of the puzzle regarding the delphiniums on the iconic Great Plat. Now recently acquired for our archive, two watercolours show delphiniums at Munstead House, where Jekyll lived with her Mother until moving next door to ‘Munstead Wood’.
Given as a present from Moon to Jekyll c1896 these give a fascinating insight into the colour of delphinium plants favoured by Jekyll at the time she designed Hestercombe’s garden.
The buzzy vibrating blue summer colour scheme described by Jekyll and denoted in plans simply as ‘delphiniums’ has never given us enough detail to be confident of our colour choice. Now, these paintings, along with advice from the Delphinium Society and specialist growers Blackmoor & Langdons gives us the evidence to replant our delphiniums in time for next summer.
We can't wait to see them in full bloom!