Tuesday 20 May 2014


Hidcote Manor Garden, in the North Cotswolds.
An Arts and Crafts garden, this is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever been in. Lawrence Johnston began to create the garden in 1907 and over the space of 30 years he transformed a field containing just a few trees to a magnificent garden. It consists of at least 12 outdoor rooms
which are colourful and intricately designed, connected by a maze of narrow paved pathways. Added to that are great open vistas, a wood, a large section of 'wilderness', a kitchen garden, an orchard, great lawns, a tennis court, a bathing pool, a pond, and so much more.
The first time we visited was in the middle of winter and it was a delight then - but this week's visit was something else: everything was bursting with colour and it was magnificent.


By the side of the house, near the White Garden and the Maple Garden.


The Maple Garden, and in the distance one of the stone thatched cottages that were once home to the gardeners.

One of the maples, the copper colour bright in the sunshine

One of the delights of the many rooms is that there are so many openings from which to look through to another of the rooms

The tulips in the Old Garden were in full bloom

The honey coloured Cotswold stone always a delight

another look at those tulips


Everything is connected with paved pathways and seeing through to the next room is always a pleasure

a magnificent rhododendron

The Circle, a symphony of blue and lilac


and the iris are stunning





peeping through

some open spaces too, in contrast to the intimacy of the 'rooms'

The entrance to the Bathing Pool section framed by topiary of two birds

the steps down to the Bathing Pool - every single detail is carefully thought out in this garden

The Bathing Pool

looking closer


looking at the Bathing Pool through the hedge opening - so much in this garden is framed

a delightful little garden house


with modern murals


old tiles

and more modern murals

The Poppy Garden

The Upper Stream Garden

Moving on to the Central Stream Garden

over the bridge


The spectacular wisteria covering the Tool Shed

one more photograph

walking out of the Tool Shed I found myself under and inside the wisteria

the scent was heady

The Lily Pool which is by the Plant House


One of the four wisteria trees at the end of the Long Borders


The Orchard



and then we entered The Wood


The Beech Allee


peaceful and cool and we seemed to be the only people there on a hot and very busy day


The Great Lawn, and I loved the curved line of the hedge

beautiful, colourful  borders


The Stilt Garden, leading
on to fields with the most spectacular views of the Cotswold countryside

looking closer

The Pillar Garden

The Rock Bank

The Long Walk


which lead to the edge of the garden and more spectacular views of the Cotswolds

The Wilderness

The Wilderness still


between the Hudrangea Corner and the Central Stream Garden

Mrs Winthrop's Garden

a round stepping stone over the stream leading on to

The Lime Bower


some colour

retracing our steps

another look at The Long Walk


and then we found ourselves  in The Bathing Pool Garden again, and noticed this lone Himalayan Poppy

a stunning flower


and a stunning blue.
and when Ken went to the shop, I stood under the dogwood, or handkerchief tree.
'This place is a jungle of beauty; a jungle controlled by a single mind; a jungle never allowed to deteriorate into a mere jungle, but always kept in bounds by a master hand': Vita Sackville-West.
A long post? Absolutely. And yet I have shown only a fraction of this extraordinary garden.


  1. It is indeed such a beautiful garden, especially at this time of year. I always think how wonderful life must have been for those wealthy enough to develop such gardens in those days, and be able to enjoy them without the visiting hordes of today! I seem to remember reading that the soil was not suitable for a great many of the plants which Lawrence Johnston wanted to grow, so he imported tonnes and tonnes of appropriate earth.
    I too enjoy the one-room-into-another views.

  2. Johnston was obviously driven - the beauty of the garden is a testament to that, and your story of importing soil confirms it. We've been so lucky with the weather recently Olga, and it's such a pleasure visiting all those gardens which as you say, were only accessible to a handful in the past.