The home of famed garden designer, horticulturist and author Gertrude Jekyll has been purchased by the National Trust and will be opened up to visitors.

The property was purchased as it came up for private sale, with the support of the government.

Fundraising has now begun to support the restoration of the house, known as Munstead Wood, and the National Trust said it will work with the local community and partners to develop plans for its future opening, which is dependent on raising funds to help restore and reimagine the garden and house.

The home is where, from the 1890s to her death in 1932, Jekyll grew her influence on national and international garden design and inspired others to become gardeners through her books and more than 1,000 articles.

The 11-acre area was designed in collaboration with architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

A view to Munstead Wood house from the topiary cat. National Trust Images / Megan Taylor

Jekyll became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Victoria Medal of Honour and, having collected plants in Britain and Europe, is thought to have introduced at least 30 new varieties into British gardens.

Some of Jekyll’s original planting, formal paths, walls and a pond near the house remain intact, and Jekyll’s rock garden was recently rediscovered buried under layers of garden debris.

Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust said: “The survival of both house and garden offers an extraordinary chance to tell the story of the house and garden, and Jekyll’s enormous impact, inspiring a new generation of gardeners and nature lovers.

“Jekyll changed the way we think about garden design and created more gardens than ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton combined. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this seminal garden.”

Andy Jasper, Head of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust, added: “Munstead Wood is not only a rare surviving example of Jekyll’s work, it is also the garden where she developed and clearly expressed her ideas, and the birthplace of her rich collaboration with Sir Edwin Lutyens. It was the source of the planting experiments she described in her writing, the hub of her garden design and nursery business and had a huge influence on garden design and planting not just in Britain but internationally.”

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Image: A view through to Munstead Wood house from the Woodland Garden. National Trust Images / Megan Taylor