Part 3: Planting the rills

Part 3: Planting the rills

1

When it came to planting the East Rill borders, identifying the irises that had formed a key feature of Miss Jekyll's plans was a major issue.

‘So many had been lost during the Second World War and were no longer available,' says Madeleine.

In addition to this, on the original plan Jekyll had simply numbered clumps of iris along the borders, and then supplied her chosen cultivars under their corresponding numbers directly from Munstead Wood (click here to see plan).

To re-create the scheme on their new plan Madeleine and Lorna turned to Gertrude Jekyll's writings to discover the qualities that she looked for in successions of irises. Lorna then visited Kelways at Langport in Somerset to select irises of the right colour and size while they were in flower.

The East Rill terrace, 1977.

To re-create the scheme on their new plan Madeleine and Lorna turned to Gertrude Jekyll's writings to discover the qualities that she looked for in successions of irises.

Lorna then visited Kelways at Langport in Somerset to select irises of the right colour and size while they were in flower.

The planting of the East and West Rill terraces, begun during the winter of 1974/5 and completed in 1976, were different according to their aspect (click here for the Jekyll plan of the West Rill). The vines, figs and pyracantha about the hemispherical dipping pools remained from the garden's older planting.

On the sunny East Rill terrace, kniphofia, oriental poppy, Monarda didyma ‘Cambridge Scarlet' and orange alstroemeria created a bright spectacle (click here to see plan, and see the East Rill plant list page 1 and page 2). The East Rill outer wall and border adjoining the Orangery lawn were tackled the following year (click here for the Jekyll plan).

In the cooler, shadier West Rill borders there was a planting of old species roses, Iris foetidissimaand white lilies, blending into the warmer shades of day lilies and tiger lilies towards the southern end of the terrace. In the lower west border, a green-themed scheme included hellebores, ferns, white foxgloves and Asarum europaeum (click here to see plan, and see the West Rill plant list page 1 and page 2 ).

Missing plans

A cool colour scheme in the West Rill, 1981.