Branching Out at Hidcote Manor Garden

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    Hidcote Manor Garden is one of England's great gardens. It was the life's passion of one man, self-taught gardener Lawrence Johnston who created his 'garden of rooms' here.

    The creator of Hidcote

    Lawrence Johnston was born in Paris of American parents. He came to England to study at Cambridge University.

    After graduating, he fought for the British Army. He was so badly wounded in the First World War that he was laid out for burial. His colleagues realised that he was still alive only after he moved slightly.

    In 1907, Johnston's mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop, bought the Hidcote Manor Estate. Johnston came to live at Hidcote and soon took to gardening.

    Developing a masterpiece

    Johnston spent 41 years creating what would become one of England's most influential 20th-century gardens. He began work in 1907, becoming interested in making a garden out of the fields surrounding the house.

    The garden was developed in the fashionable Arts & Crafts style: a series of outdoor 'rooms' offering surprises and discoveries at each turn.

    By the 1920s, the transformation was well under way. Johnston employed 12 full-time gardeners to help shape his 10-acre creation. He always took advice and read extensively on the work of eminent gardeners, such as Gertrude Jekyll.

    'A garden of rooms'

    Johnston designed Hidcote as a series of outdoor 'rooms', which combine sensuous masses of colour with traditional garden crafts such as topiary. Each room has its own distinct atmosphere and character.

    The hedges that divide the rooms sprung up due to the plot's exposed aspect. Johnston planted hedges of holly, beech, hornbeam and yew for shelter and structure.

    Exotic plants

    As well as a gardener, Lawrence Johnston was an accomplished plantsman. The range of plants he used was huge.

    In a never-ending quest, he secured rare and exotic species by sponsoring and taking part in plant hunting expeditions. Trips took him to the Alps, Kenya and South Africa. He also plant-swapped with the Australians and the Japanese.

    The expeditions introduced over 40 new plants to cultivation in the UK, many of which bear Johnston's name. He was awarded three Awards of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society for his plant hunting achievements.

    The National Trust learns to garden

    In 1948, Lawrence Johnston retired to Serre de la Madone, his home on the French Riviera where he had created another spectacular garden.

    Hidcote Manor Garden came to the National Trust, the first property acquired specifically for the garden.

    While carrying forward the spirit of Lawrence Johnston, Hidcote has changed over time since the 1930s. Lack of funding has led to areas of the garden becoming overgrown and many of Johnston's tender plants being replaced.

    'This place is a jungle of beauty. I cannot hope to describe it in words, for indeed it is an impossible thing to reproduce the shape, colour, depth and design of such a garden through the poor medium of prose'

    - Vita Sackville-West

    For more information about Hidcote Manor Garden, please visit

    UGArdener, kevinjay., and 22 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. antonychammond 59 months ago | reply

      Many thanks flowerbox9 for adding this as a favorite.....

    2. sam975 [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Cedar trees , and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      great shot!

    3. antonychammond 59 months ago | reply

      Many thanks sam975 for the invite and for adding this as a favorite.....

    4. Vinko Sunde 58 months ago | reply

      Beautiful capture ! Very nice - excellent work !

    5. antonychammond 58 months ago | reply

      Many thanks Vinko Sunde ....

    6. Jordi Camardons Caralt 57 months ago | reply

      !!!! Wonderful composition!!! Un arbol impresionante,saludos antony

    7. antonychammond 57 months ago | reply

      Muchas gracias Jordi Camardons Caralt .....

    8. antonychammond 56 months ago | reply

      Many thanks floral.cupcake for adding this as a favorite.....

    9. Dogeed 53 months ago | reply

      C'est un très joli jardin, cet arbre est vraiment majestueux.
      Bonne soirée.

    10. antonychammond 53 months ago | reply

      Merci beaucoup Dogeed for also adding this as a favorite....

    11. antonychammond 36 months ago | reply

      Many thanks Muslima2006 ....

    12. Steve Taylor (Photography) 23 months ago | reply

      That sure is a wide one

    13. antonychammond 23 months ago | reply

      Many thanks Steve Taylor (Photography) for also adding this as a favorite.....

    14. antonychammond 22 months ago | reply

      Many thanks H & A for adding this as a favorite.....

    15. antonychammond 19 months ago | reply

      Many thanks Bertramsca The VIKINGS are Coming! for adding this as a favorite....

    16. antonychammond 10 months ago | reply

      Many thanks qinxiaofeng for adding this as a fave....

    17. antonychammond 9 months ago | reply

      Many thanks LInDeZign for adding this as a fave....

    18. antonychammond 6 months ago | reply

      Many thanks chinhnc77 for adding this as a favorite....

    19. antonychammond 5 months ago | reply

      Many thanks Leticia Grandfils for adding this as a favorite....

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