|Hidcote Manor Garden|
The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
The creator of Hidcote American horticulturist Lawrence Johnston was a rather reclusive bachelor who kept himself to a close circle of friends and shunned the mainstream of horticultural society, thereby seeking no awards or accolades for his work.
Lawrence arrived at Hidcote in 1907 with his wealthy mother the formidable Mrs. Winthrop, who bought Hidcote from a Mr. John Tucker at auction, reputedly on account of her sons health. He soon took to gardening and by 1918 had formed the main outlines of the garden.
His secrecy in private life extended to the creation of the garden and no plans, plant lists or diaries have ever come to light. Although he was an avid collector of plants himself as well as subscribing to expeditions. Hidcote came to the National trust in 1948 when Johnston retired permanently to his other garden at Menton in France apparently in ill health although he lived for a further ten years.
The Garden he created is one of England's great Arts and Crafts gardens, famous for its rare trees and shrubs and outstanding herbaceous borders. The garden is divided by tall hedges and walls to create a series of smaller gardens of contrasting character, ensuring a surprise at every turn and encompassing both the formal and the informal. The gardens change with the seasons making repeat visits equally rewarding.
Even in early spring I found that the gardens contained plenty of colour and the Manor House (not open to the public) provided a picturesque backdrop to the garden. I will plan a summer visit as I am sure that it will be even more stunning. Hidcote Manor is located off the A44 near Broadway in the Cotswolds.
Hidcote in September 2008
Another visit to Hidcote during my cotswold holiday in mid September 2008.