Hidcote Manor Garden

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A garden room in the Hidcote Manor Garden, the White Garden with topiary figures
One line of sight, the Long Walk with a gazebo at the northern end

The Hidcote Manor Garden is an English park that belongs to the Arts & Crafts Gardens . It is located in Hidcote Bartrim that in the northeast of Chipping Campden in the county of Gloucestershire . The plant was built from 1907 by the American privateer Lawrence Waterbury Johnston , and has belonged to the National Trust since 1948 . Characteristic for the more than 40,000 square meter complex are above all the subdivision into different garden rooms, English outdoor rooms , the visual axes , English vistas , the artfully cut plants, topiary , and the red perennial beds , English Red Borders . The Hidcote Manor Garden was a model for other famous facilities of this type; for example, the design and planting of the Garden of the Sissinghurst Castle contain elements of the Hidcote Manor Garden.


Plan of the Hidcote Manor Garden: 1 Entrance, 2 White Gardens, 3 Long Walk , 4 Red Borders , 5 Fuchsia Gardens, 6 Water Basins, 7 Theater Lawn , 8 Stilt Garden , 9 Pillar Garden

Hidcote Manor Garden is located on a 183 m high plateau on the northern edge of the Cotswolds . For county Gloucestershire belonging and on the border with the county Warwickshire located, Hidcote is about two kilometers east of Mickleton, about seven kilometers northeast of Chipping Campden and 16 kilometers south of Stratford-upon-Avon . Hidcote Garden is rated Grade I on the English Heritage List of Parks and Gardens . In the immediate vicinity of the Hidcote Manor Garden is another well-known garden, the Kiftsgate Court Gardens.


The creation of the garden

In July 1907, American native Gertrude Winthrop bought the Hidcote estate to provide permanent residence for herself and her son Lawrence Johnston after years of commuting between the United States, France and England. The property was over a square kilometer. In addition to the manor house, which was built in the 17th century, there were at least seven cottages and a forge on the property . In the sales documents, the mansion was described as "very picturesque", it consisted of an entrance hall, three living rooms, eight bedrooms, two smaller bedrooms and several offices. Next to the house there were already some lawns, bushes , a Lebanon cedar and a large kitchen garden .

An avenue of lime trees known as a tunnel in Hidcote

In the years that followed, Johnston laid the foundation stone for what is now the garden, despite difficult conditions. The ground was chalky and there was often a strong south-westerly wind. Despite these circumstances, Johnston was determined to create a special garden. He was probably inspired by illustrations from various gardening books and it appears that he was particularly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement . In the tradition of this movement stood the book The Art and Craft of Garden Making by the landscape architect Thomas H. Mawson , which appeared in 1900 and was reprinted four times. It can be assumed that Johnston knew this book well. At that time there were already a number of successful horticultural architects, the most famous of whom was Edwin Lutyens , but Johnston did not seek advice from them.

Johnston's gardening began with leveling uneven surfaces. Then he planted hedges to divide the garden into different rooms, which also created visual axes . He paved new paths and planted innumerable plants, realizing innovative ideas. It is noteworthy that he made changes in the garden without making a plan beforehand. In 1914, Johnston's work in the garden was interrupted by the First World War. He had British citizenship in 1900 and now fought in Flanders .

The extension of the garden

After the war ended, Lawrence Johnston returned to Hidcote. He restored the garden, which had not been tended for four years, and expanded it. In 1922, Johnston hired his first head gardener, Frank Adams. Adams, along with the other hired gardeners, implemented Johnston's vision. In the 1920s, up to twelve gardeners worked for Johnston at the same time.

It is believed that Johnston studied the work of Gertrude Jekyll intensively during this period . She was mainly concerned with the effect of the different colors in the garden, whereby she was particularly interested in single-colored perennial beds . She published her thoughts in several books and she wrote articles for the magazines Country Life and The Garden . Johnston was also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and the exclusive Garden Society , and his head gardener attended the Chelsea Flower Show for several days each year .

The Blickling Hall garden

Johnston was advised by the amateur gardener Norah Lindsay , who paid particular attention to the color effect and the effect of the leaves when combining different plants and who designed part of the garden at Blickling Hall , which is now also owned by the National Trust. Her manor house and garden were located in Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire , not far from Hidcote, but were mostly rented. In the immediate vicinity of Johnston's, Heather Muir designed the garden at Kiftsgate Court . She studied the color scheme of her garden in depth and exchanged many plants and ideas with Johnston. Johnston was also inspired by the garden at Snowshill Manor , which was designed by Charles Wade. This garden is now managed by the National Trust , along with the Manor House .

Johnston became more and more interested in rare plants, such as those that plant collectors brought back from their expeditions to the Far East. Johnston visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew a few times , he created the conditions for planting alpine plants in part of his garden and he cultivated innumerable plants in pots. He also had connections with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh , from which he received about seven hundred plants.

To discover exotic plants, Johnston took part in some plant expeditions. The 1927 expedition through South Africa proved unsuccessful. Three years later, Johnston went on a trip through western China with George Forrest , who worked for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. From this trip he brought three plants with him that were new to the European continent, two mahonia , Mahonia lomariifolia , a plant that is often associated with Johnston, and Mahonia siamensis , as well as a Jasminum species, Jasminum polyanthum .

The Hidcote garden experienced its first heyday in the 1930s. Country Life magazine published two richly illustrated articles on the garden in 1930. Three years later, the famous garden architect Russell Page introduced the garden on a radio broadcast. The content of this broadcast was subsequently published in The Listener magazine. During these years the garden was opened to visitors, although the opening times were very limited and strangers were not allowed to visit the garden.

The takeover of the garden by the National Trust


In 1948, Lawrence Johnston decided to secure the long-term preservation of Hidcote Manor Garden by handing the garden over to the National Trust . It was the first garden cared for by the National Trust. The garden at Hidcote was initially shaped by Graham Thomas, who was an advisor to the National Trust and who was in charge of the garden from 1955 to 1980. From 1959 to 1978 Harry Burrows was employed as a head gardener. During this time, plants were also used that Lawrence Johnston had not used. At the beginning of the 21st century, people are increasingly busy reconstructing the original state of the garden. The archives were searched for early records and pictures of the garden. People living in the vicinity of the garden have provided pictures to the National Trust. The garden itself was also a part of this research, for example paths were cleared again. The ten-year restoration phase was completed in 2011.


The division into garden spaces

The basic design element of the garden by Hidcote is the subdivision into garden rooms, English outdoor rooms , whereby it is assumed that Lawrence Johnston based the garden on the Italian Renaissance gardens of the 16th century. To divide the garden into different rooms, Johnston planted hedges made of yew , beech , box , holly and hornbeam . In the garden there are also some walls that also divide the garden. He created a total of twenty-one different garden rooms, with each room being assigned a different theme. The concept of many small gardens within one large garden reflected the search for an English style of its own, for example the formal gardens of the Jacobean style. During the 1890s, two books were published dealing with this architectural design of a garden, John Dando Seddings Gardencraft, Old and New, and Reginald Blomfield's The Formal Garden . The Hidcote Manor Garden, which consists of regularly arranged and often interconnected rooms, is in this tradition, so that a visitor to the garden does not get a clear view of the surrounding landscape, this is only made possible by the specially created visual axes.

The visual axes

A line of sight between two garden rooms

A characteristic garden element of the Hidcote Manor Garden are the visual axes, English vistas , with the long walk forming the longest visual axis. It extends from the gazebo, which forms the transition to the Red Borders , to the boundary of the property. At this end of the Long Walk , Lawrence Johnston implemented the concept of the borrowed landscape, because the Long Walk offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. The garden of Hidcote stands in the tradition of the extensive landscaped gardens of the 18th century, which were only separated from their surroundings by a barely perceptible border. The Long Walk is also crossed by a stream over which Johnston has built a bridge. Further lines of sight arise in individual garden rooms and through the connection of individual rooms.

The topiary of plants

Peacocks formed from yew trees between the fuchsia garden and the water basin

Topiary plants play an important role in the Hidcote garden. Lawrence Johnston used yew and boxwood . Johnston mainly used the art of topiary in the Topiary Garden , which is famous for its four peacocks made from book. The peacocks are on box cylinders. During its history, the planting of the has Topiary Garden forever changed again, finally he is a White Garden, English White Garden was designed. Between the fuchsia garden and the area of ​​the water basin, English Bathing Pool Garden , there is another application of topiary, two peacocks formed from yew trees.

The Red Borders

The Red Borders

In general, incorporating red flowering perennials into a garden proves to be a challenging task. In the garden of Hidcote, this task was solved in an exemplary manner by Lawrence Johnston with the planting of the two red perennial beds , or Red Borders . The Red Borders were designed as a simple connection between other garden spaces, but now they are an important part of the garden. Originally they were called Scarlet Borders , but even this name did not do justice to this garden space. After the first planting, the Red Borders consisted of plants with a color spectrum from vermilion to carmine red, but at the same time Johnston also planted light orange daylilies , hemerocallis , purple monkshood , aconite 'Spark's Variety', and plants with auburn foliage .

Graham Thomas also dealt extensively with the Red Borders , being careful not to mix red and yellow plants with red and blue plants. Thomas built a new plant a larkspur , Delphinium 'Black Night', the same flower color as the earlier blooming monkshood, Aconitum 'Spark's Variety', and he replaced a purple bells , Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple', with another Coral Bells Heuchera americana . Another specialty of the Red Borders is the large mountain pine , Pinus mugo , which Johnston planted here because of the sunny location.

More garden rooms

Other garden spaces, for example, include the Fuchsiengarten, English Fuchsia Garden , in which the fuchsias between trims book are, and the area of the water basin, English Bathing Pool Garden . The Theater Lawn is a large lawn surrounded by hedges , the Stilt Garden is made of cut hornbeams and the Pillar Garden derives its name from the column-cut yew trees that are arranged in two parallel rows.

Garden history classification

Star Ball Leek at Hidcote Manor Garden

The Hidcote Manor Garden is the garden that most influenced the art of garden design in the 20th century. While it was primarily a model for other famous gardens in the first half of the century, the design elements of the Hidcote garden were also implemented in the design and planting of smaller private gardens in the second half of the century and at the beginning of the 21st century . The special thing about the Hidcote Manor Garden is the interaction of different styles. The division into different garden rooms is reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance gardens of the 16th century, the surrounding landscape is integrated in the style of the landscape gardens of the 18th century and the herbaceous beds are laid out in the tradition of English cottage gardens. A typical plant for English cottage gardens is, for example, the star ball leek .

The garden as a model for other gardens

The garden at Sissinghurst Castle

Garden rooms in the garden of Sissinghurst Castle

With a history going back to the Middle Ages, the Sissinghurst estate in Kent was acquired by Vita Sackville-West in April 1930 . Together with her husband Harold Nicolson , she laid out the garden that still exists today. They were mainly influenced by Gertrude Jekyll , Edwin Lutyens and the garden of Hidcote. Like Hidcote Manor Garden, Sissinghurst Castle's garden is made up of multiple rooms, each room devoted to a different color or theme. While the Hidcote Garden is known for its red borders for its color scheme , the Sissinghurst Garden, which has been managed by the National Trust since 1967, is very popular for its White Garden.

The garden at Newby Hall

After the in the county Yorkshire located building Newby Hall for more than fifty years there, it was taken over in 1748 by the current owners family. A formal garden was created shortly afterwards. The alley of linden trees belonging to this garden is also an element of today's garden, the appearance of which was primarily shaped by Edward Compton. He began designing the garden in the 1920s, being particularly influenced by Lawrence Johnston. Compton decided to create a line of sight in the garden that extends from the south side of the building to the River Ure. The middle of this visual axis is formed by a lawn, to the left and right of which there are perennial beds , which are separated from the rest of the garden by hedges made of yew trees . In addition to the visual axis, Compton laid out various garden spaces.

Plants named after the garden

Lavender 'Hidcote'

Lavender 'Hidcote'

The lavender 'Hidcote' belongs to the plant species of real lavender , Lavandula angustifolia , which is also known as English lavender and which, if it grows on a dry and sunny slope, can reach a height of almost two meters. However, the 'Hidcote' variety is a compact variety that reaches a height of sixty to one hundred centimeters. This variety is suitable for perennial beds as well as for border borders. The lavender 'Hidcote' is characterized by its dense and silvery-gray leaves and its dark purple-blue and up to four centimeters long flowers . The strain is known for its use in Hidcote Manor Garden, but it is believed that Lawrence Johnston brought it from France.

St. John's Wort 'Hidcote'

The St. John's wort 'Hidcote', Hypericum 'Hidcote', is one of the most popular and proven St. John's herbs . It is generally very hardy, but too long and severe frosts can cause the plant to freeze back. The golden-yellow flowers reach a diameter of five to seven centimeters and are therefore among the largest within the genus , whereby the St. John's wort 'Hidcote' proves to be very blooming both in the shade and in the sun. If the plant gets too big, it can easily be cut back.

The garden of Serre de la Madone

Pool of water in the garden of Serre de la Madone

In addition to the Hidcote Manor Garden, another garden was planned by Lawrence Johnston, namely the garden of Serre de la Madone . By 1924 the basic elements of Hidcote Manor Garden had been completed and Johnston had time to devote himself to another project. He bought the Serre de la Madone estate in the Gorbio Valley , to the north-west of Menton on the Côte d'Azur , and retired to it during the winter months. Johnston's horticultural ideas were implemented by a gardener from Hidcote who was supported by several French gardeners.

The Serre de la Madone garden is located on a steep, terraced slope where olives and grapes were once grown. Since Johnston's redesign, the garden has consisted of twenty-two terraces, each with its own garden space. Characteristic of the garden are its numerous pools and fountains , as well as its exotic plants, for example, planted Johnston Protea , Protea , mimosa , Mimosa pudica , an Australian tea tree , Melaleuca alternifolia , a Osmanthus fragrans , Osmanthus fragrans , Camellia , Camellia japonica , and wisteria , Wisteria .


  • Ursula Buchan and Andrew Lawson: The English Garden. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 2006, pp. 13, 14, 38 and 58, ISBN 0-7112-2638-5 .
  • Ethne Clarke: Hidcote: The Making of a Garden. WW Norton & Company, New York 2009, ISBN 0-393-73267-3 .
  • Penelope Hobhouse: Garden Style. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 2002, pp. 13-18, 41 and 94, ISBN 0-7112-1987-7 .
  • Tony Lord: Best Borders. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 1999, pp. 11, 44-53 and 93, ISBN 0-7112-1432-8 .
  • Graham S. Pearson: Hidcote: The Garden and Lawrence Johnston. National Trust Books, London 2009, ISBN 1-905400-61-6 .
  • David Stuart: Classic Garden Plans. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 2004, pp. 101 and 102, ISBN 0-7112-2386-6 .
  • Rory Stuart: Gardens of the World. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 2010, pp. 188-217, ISBN 0-7112-3130-3 .
  • Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Frances Lincoln Publishers, London 2011, ISBN 0-7112-3235-0 .

Web links

Commons : Hidcote Manor Garden  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. For a list of books see Graham S. Pearson: Hidcote: The Garden and Lawrence Johnston. P. 11
  2. Johnston had the rank of major in the British Army.
  3. From 1948 Johnston lived in Serre de la Madone for the entire year.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Nationaltrust.org: Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts Garden in the north Codswolds, a stone's throw from Stanford-upon-Avon.
  2. a b Hidcote Manor Garden: History
  3. a b National Gardens Scheme: Hidcote Manor Garden ( Memento from December 24, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  4. a b European garden network: biography of Vita Sackville-West ( memento from September 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  5. English Heritage: Evaluation of the Hidcote Manor GardenTemplate: dead link /! ... nourl  ( page no longer available )
  6. ^ Graham S. Pearson: Hidcote: The Garden and Lawrence Johnston. P. 12
  7. Kiftsgate Court Gardens: Directions ( Memento from December 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Ethne Clarke: Hidcote: The Making of a Garden. P. 23
  9. ^ Graham S. Pearson: Hidcote: The Garden and Lawrence Johnston. Pp. 12-14
  10. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. P. 17
  11. ^ Graham S. Pearson: Hidcote: The Garden and Lawrence Johnston. Pp. 8-11
  12. ^ A b Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 17-18
  13. The Telegraph: Biography of Lawrence Johnston
  14. a b The Wall Street Journal: Description of the Hidcote Manor Garden
  15. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 18-19
  16. ^ Rory Stuart: Gardens of the World. Pp. 212-217
  17. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 19 and 83
  18. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. P. 20
  19. Kiftsgate Court Gardens: History ( Memento of 30 January 2013, Internet Archive )
  20. Snowshill Manor and Garden
  21. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 22-24
  22. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 24-25
  23. Tony Lord: Best Borders. P. 46
  24. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. P. 27
  25. Tony Lord: Best Borders. Pp. 46-47
  26. BBC: Description of the Hidcote Manor Garden
  27. The Telegraph: Description of the Hidcote Manor Garden
  28. ^ Penelope Hobhouse: Garden Style. Pp. 15-16
  29. Ursula Buchan and Andrew Lawson: The English Garden. P. 38
  30. ^ Penelope Hobhouse: Garden Style. P. 16
  31. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. P. 9
  32. ^ David Stuart: Classic Garden Plans. Pp. 101-102
  33. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 33-36
  34. a b Tony Lord: Best Borders. Pp. 45-48
  35. The Guardian: Description of the Hidcote Manor Garden
  36. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 30-45
  37. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 9-10
  38. ^ Rory Stuart: Gardens of the World. Pp. 212-215
  39. Sissinghurst Castle: History
  40. ^ Newby Hall & Gardens: History of the Building
  41. ^ Newby Hall & Gardens: History of the Garden
  42. Royal Horticultural Society: Lavender 'Hidcote' ( Memento of December 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  43. BBC: Lavender 'Hidcote'
  44. Royal Horticultural Society: St. John's Wort 'Hidcote'
  45. BBC: St. John's Wort 'Hidcote'
  46. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. P. 22
  47. a b Serre de la Madone: History of the Hidcote Manor Garden
  48. Fred Whitsey and Tony Lord: The Garden at Hidcote. Pp. 149-151

Coordinates: 52 ° 5 ′ 2 "  N , 1 ° 44 ′ 40"  W.

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on February 7, 2012 .