Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was one of the most influential figures in what has been called the Golden Age of gardening in Britain. By the time she met Lutyens she had already been working for several years on her own garden at Munstead Wood, 15 acres of Surrey heath and bracken that she gradually transformed into a series of seasonal gardens. There were peonies, Michaelmas daisies, a rock garden, a spring garden and the famous herbaceous border, 60 metres of it, backed by a high sandstone wall. Here she worked out her theories on colour and rules for planting schemes that are perhaps even better known now than when she was alive. Jekyll’s colour schemes were built round a careful crescendo of effect, working from whites and pale greys and blues at the edges, through pinks and pale yellow to a central explosion of hot orange, red and scarlet. She liked to plant white tulips so they rose from a carpet of grey stachys. Gypsophila was encouraged to fall forward in a lacy veil over an edging of fat bergenias. In a career spanning 50 years, she made plans for more than 400 gardens, wrote 14 books, and ran a nursery (in her plans she only specified plants she could also sell). How did she do it all? ‘By not going to tea parties’ was her trenchant reply.