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!
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.
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.
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.