Hidcote Manor Garden is near Chipping Campden, which we wrote about recently after we’d visited the market hall on a recent Cotswolds day trip.
You’ve probably heard of Hidcote as it’s one of the most well known Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain. It’s described as one of the greatest gardens in England created this century and we sometimes drive past on our Cotswold driving tour.
The gardens have a fascinating history. They were developed over the space of 40 years by American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston in the early 1900s and are now owned by the National Trust. Hidcote was the first garden ever taken on by the National Trust.
Johnston is reported to be an enigmatic genius. He was secretive, reclusive and self taught and kept few records about his transformation of the gardens. Yet his meticiulous and unique work has inspired designers all over the world.
The gardens are set out in various ‘rooms’ each with their own unique characteristics and surprises. The ‘rooms’ are separated by Yew, holly and beech hedges as well as walls . You’ll discover secret gardens, explosions of colour and quiet places to sit and reflect.
Whether you visit in spring or autumn the colours are spectacular, formed by rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from around the world. The secret of the gardens appeal lies in the outstanding design feature with plants that bloom at different times of the year, ensuring the gardens are a year-round pleasure.
Will it be the large circular pool, edged with white roses, the centrally located gazebo, an avenue of majestic beeches or the fuchsia room that captivates your imagination?
If you want to get more hands on, you can enjoy painting days, pick the brains of some of the leading UK gardeners or even have gardening lessons.