How fortunate I was to be able to visit Hidcote Manor Garden during the English summer of 2011. I would question the summer bit, it was so cold I had to purchase warmer clothes to wear, however perfect weather for strolling around English gardens. The sign to Hidcote sat me on the edge of my seat, desperate to get into the garden, but like all of the English stately homes, I needed to be patient as we had to enjoy the long entrance drive first and then a long walk to the garden proper.
Finally upon arriving I could really feel the excitement rising. This is a garden that I had long wished to visit. The garden was originally designed by Lawrence Waterbury Johnston, he left no plans or lists of plants for his grand creation. Johnston’s mother, Mrs Winthrop (Johnston was the only surviving son from her first marriage) bought Hidcote (approx 300 acres) in 1907. Johnston created a garden that was intricately designed, it was like a beautifully designed house, with corridors leading from one beautiful room to another all decorated with sumptuous plantings. It is not hard to imagine the garden picnics, with everyone dressed to impress, chattering whilst strolling through the Stilt garden, may be stopping for a quick game of boule on the way
and taking a glimpse down the Long walk through the gazebo doors on the way to the Theatre lawn.
The Long walk is flanked either side by hornbeam hedges, I was enticed down the steps, it is rather a grand feeling parading down the carefully manicured lawn.
I turn my back on the Long Walk and head for the
Theatre Lawn, where I find families picnicking, with their colourful rugs spread out, happy children running around and playing while their parents chat, someone reading quietly in the corner, If only I had time to stop. A beautifully clipped yew hedge surrounds the Theatre lawn, it is so straight and even. In Autumn the crocuses will begin to peep out under the beech trees. Stay tuned for more garden strolls at Hidcote Manor.