A Burst of English Inspiration

Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswalds is one of England’s great gardens.  On a recent trip to the UK, I was lucky enough to engineer a visit and was awed by the sheer scale, variety and abundance of plant life.

The hallmarks of English gardening are at their best here – green lawns and flower borders.  No one does lush green like the English!

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The garden is the work of Major Lawrence Johnston, who began its creation in 1907.  In just over 30 years he transformed a field containing just a few trees into one of the country’s great Arts and Crafts gardens.  In 1948 Johnston gave Hidcote to the National Trust.

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Johnston used hedges and walls to divide the garden up into a series of outdoor rooms, each with their own unique character.  It is a garden for exploring, full of twists and turns, ups and downs, formal lines and meandering paths.  It is a wonderful mix of relaxed herbaceous borders, pleached hornbeams and naturalistic meadow gardens.

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It is the element of surprise, a mix of informal romance and formal geometry, that makes gardens of this scale a joy to walk around.  A feast for all the senses.