The iconic gardens designed by acclaimed landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll have been reinstated at King Edward VII Estate, more than 100 years after they were first conceived.
The gardens played an important role in the rehabilitation of patients recovering in the Estate’s Grade II* listed tuberculosis sanatorium, with Jekyll believing plants had the power to heal and cure patients.
City & Country has now painstakingly recreated the gardens, as much as possible, for their enjoyment today using historical photographs and original planting plans. The classic Jekyll stepping creates the frame for the planting with the colour scheme running from cold (white, blue) to hot (orange, red).
The layout of the gardens has remained largely unchanged. However, over time much of the original planting design had been lost, with poor maintenance and unsympathetic modifications to blame.
Following careful research, City & Country located the original planting plans. Now Jekyll’s design has been reinstated, with attractive further landscaping added where necessary. Three miles of “measured walks”, which were originally designed for patients to “take the air”, have also been reinstated for residents to enjoy.
Commenting on the gardens, Georgina Walters, who lives on the Estate, says:
“The gardens are looking lovely and the walks have been opened that lead to National Trust paths so for anyone who enjoys the outdoors and walking then this is a super spot. Fantastic location, a beautiful building and lovely gardens – I love it!”
Jekyll was a firm believer in the benefits of plants on people and their health. Over 100 years later the pros of being in the outdoors are well documented:
• Increases Vitamin D
• Elevates the mood by in natural light
• Better concentration
• Increased alertness
• Reduces anxiety
• Better sleep
Getting outside in the fresh air amongst natural surroundings can truly clear your head, boost your immune system and improve your general wellbeing. Studies have shown that those living in urban environments can suffer from sensory overload that leads to cognitive fatigue. Having green space to come home to after a busy day in the city gives the brain a break from the urban stimuli. Little did Jekyll know that her beliefs would be so apt in modern day life.
Located just over three miles from the market town of Midhurst in the heart of the South Downs National Park, King Edward VII Estate was originally designed to serve as a specialist tuberculosis hospital. Officially opened and commissioned by His Majesty King Edward VII in 1906, it was inspired by an earlier expedition to another sanatorium in Falkenstein, Germany.
The hospital and surrounding buildings were designed by renowned architects Charles Holden and Percy Adams, who together with Jekyll formed the cornerstone of the Arts & Crafts movement.
A wide range of outstanding properties, many featuring sweeping views over the Jekyll gardens and onwards to the South Downs, are currently available.