There can’t be a much more quintessentially english garden than Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswolds? And is so often the way it took an outsider to distill the essence of English garden design, the garden was created in the early 20th Century by the American Major Lawrence Johnston. Johnston was an anglophile and moved to Britain with his mother around 1900, he took British citizenship and joined the British army, fighting in the Boer war and reaching the rank of Major. Johnston’s mother, Mrs. Winthrop purchased Hidcote Manor in 1907, and so started the process of creating the famous gardens.
Located in the north of the Cotswolds, not far from Chipping Campden, Hidcote Manor Garden is a perfect example of Arts and Crafts garden design. Johnston was inspired by the gardens of Gertrude Jekyll. The garden is designed around a succession of garden rooms, it mixes a formal layout with romantic planting that are characteristic of this of this style of garden (see also Sissinghurst Gardens). Some of the garden rooms include a white garden, a maple garden, the red borders and the pillar garden. There are plenty more to explore including an excellent kitchen garden, a rose walk and a peaceful wilderness.
Johnston was a keen plant hunter, traversing the world to bring back the perfect plants for Hidcote. Many plants have been named in Hidcote Manor Garden and Johnston’s honour, the most famous of which probably being Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and Penstemon ‘Hidcote Pink’.
Although the garden can get very busy the garden room structure means the garden doesn’t feel overwhelmed. As with many National Trust properties they have an excellent cafe and a lovely little shop (we love a little shop!) Also be sure to visit their plant centre to bring back a piece of Hidcote Manor Garden for your own patch at home.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the garden on a beautiful summer’s day, we love the Cotswolds in general and it is great to visit such an important and inspirational english garden.
Find out more at the National Trust Website.