I want someone to paint a stoic, contemplative portrait of me…but I should probably first accomplish something impressive, like Gertrude Jekyll, the British garden designer, writer and artist. She created over 400 famous British, European and American gardens, and wrote over 1,000 articles for gardening publications (not to mention her 13 book). No small potatoes!
Besides having her surname borrowed by Robert Louis Stevenson for the famous novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Gertie was a major player in the Arts and Crafts Movement (aka Cottage Style gardens) thanks to her painterly approach to garden plantings. Known for her hardy plant borders, and brush-like strokes of vivid color inspired by J.M.W. Turner and Impressionism, Jekyll was also a prolific writer (Attn: Gift-givers, feel free to buy me any of these books).
To see more of her garden designs, check out the Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll Flickr group.
Gertrude Jekyll portrait from Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives