Hidcote Manor Garden

14 August 2006


On Helen’s birthday, we drive to a National Trust property at Hidcote, near Chipping Campden.


Established and developed in the first decades of the 20th Century, Hidcote Manor gardens are the creation of Lawrence Johnston, a wealthy American born in France, whose mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop, acquired Hidcote in 1907.  Johnston himself had studied at Cambridge University, following which he obtained British nationality and served in the British Army in the Boer War and the First World War, reaching the rank of major.


The garden forms a series of ‘rooms’, each with its own character, and a number of focal features, such as the huge Lebanese cedar, the bathing pool, the Theatre Lawn and the Long Walk.


The character of the different ‘rooms’ is achieved by the type and colour of the plants, supported by topiary, natural features such as streams and trees, and some garden buildings such as the twin gazebos and a thatched shelter.  Many of the plants are rare in this country and were imported by Johnston from his extensive overseas travelling, notably to China and South Africa.


The garden was laid out, and is still maintained, as a place to walk and enjoy, rather than as a horticultural museum.  Few of the plants are labelled, and they are allowed to grow naturally, avoiding the heavily manicured appearance of some formal gardens.



The White Garden, with topiary



Under the massive cedar at the end of the Old Garden

Succulents growing in the wall of the Alpine Terrace



Resting in the thatched shelter next to the Bathing Pool Garden

In front of one of the twin gazebos, tiled, presumably for use for refreshments during outside entertainments



The Red Borders, leading up to the twin gazebos, which lie between the Long Walk and Theatre Lawn

Bees are kept in the New Orchard


More about Hidcote Manor Garden


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