In the spring of 1889 the young Edwin Lutyens, later to become the most famous British architect of the 20th century, met the artist-gardener-craftswoman Gertrude Jekyll for the first time at an afternoon tea party in rural Surrey. She was a well-known eccentric and a generation older than the young man.
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Though they always maintained their independence from one another, their joint creations of house and garden became the talk of Edwardian society. Separately they were interesting, curious, isolated: together they proved irresistible.
Steven is an independent landscape consultant specialising in historical gardens and architecture. He lectures at the Universities of Bristol and Oxford and is a specialist tour leader in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He is a writer and broadcaster on historic gardens. His book, ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’ is published by Frances Lincoln.