I came across another fabulous book by Gertrude Jekyll, Some English Gardens, in a large format, roughly 11 x 12 inches – here published by Studio Editions, 1995, as Classic English Gardens (hardcover, 184 pp) with an introduction by Sally Festing (who has also written a biography of Gertrude Jekyll). It’s a record of 34 gardens of the time of Miss Jekyll accompanied by reproductions of contemporary watercolours of each garden by George S. Elgood. My text, below, from the original 1904 publication, is from archive.org where it can be downloaded in a number of e-book formats.
This is an excellent site for downloading many of these old books that can be read on today’s e-readers – hopefully this new technology will help to preserve, and again make popular, many long forgotten literary works that deserve to be read. If you don’t have an e-book reader you can download software that will allow you to read them on a computer instead. The e-versions tend to have typographical errors originating from the scans so a little imagination (or guessing) is in order to read them. The only solution to that problem would involve an army of proofreaders to compare the scans to the originals and reformat the lot – I don’t know where the money would come from to achieve that but it would certainly be money well spent – are you listening Google? I suspect the problem is that many of these titles are out of copyright and where there’s no money there is no appetite.
The excerpt below is a bit of a diversion from the gardens in the book and dwells on autumn flowers while the watercolour scan, Phlox and Daisy, from Classic English Gardens, is painted from Elgood’s garden. The picture, The_Terrace_Brockenhurst, above, is from the George Samuel Elgood link.