Articles, Blog

Europe Gardens | HIDCOTE Garden | Chipping Campden Cotswold Gloucestershire | Travelogue

October 18, 2019

The next stop for Marie and I was Hidcote Manor Garden near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. Hidcote Manor Gardens is one of the
great gardens of the UK, under the care of the National Trust. Hidcote is the
creation of American horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston, who travelled
the world to bring the variety of plants you experience in the garden today. Agriculture ruled the day in the village
of Hidcote Bartram until 1907. The manor house was built in the 17th century as a
farmhouse. It passed through several hands before being inherited in early
1907 from the Freedman family by John Tucker, who had farmed there since 1873. Soon after, it was put up for auction and
eventually bought by Johnston for 7,200 pounds, acting on his mother’s behalf. It
was advertised in June of 1907 as a valuable freehold farm comprising 287
acres with a very substantial and picturesque farmhouse and with lawns and
large kitchen gardens. Lawrence arrived at Hidcote in October 1907, his mother
arriving from America in June 1908. The house was adapted to suit their
requirements with an extension being built. Lawrence who had studied gardening
books such as the art and craft of garden making by Thomas H Balsam began
to develop the gardens from largely a blank canvas. From 1907 to 1914, he
created the intimate garden rooms around the house, interrupted by the Great War,
in which he served. His mother bought the farm at the end of the village road in
1919, which expanded the gardens to their present boundaries. By the early 1920s, the garden designed
largely complete, Johnston turned his interest to plant hunting around the
world. His motto was to plant the best forms of any plant. The gardens reached
widespread critical acclaim and attracted many well-connected people in
the 1920s and 30s. Lawrence was in his 70s in the 1940s when he put his mind to
preserving the gardens for future generations. He approached the National
Trust in 1943, and in 1948, they acquired Hidcote, the first garden of national
importance, and it has been under their stewardship ever since. The National Trust is a charity started
by three people in 1895 who saw the importance of preserving special places,
including coastlines and farmland, to churches and archaeological sites, to
gardens and historic houses. They look after special places throughout the UK
forever and everyone. For a number of years, the Trust’s
management policy has been to return Hidcote as close to a representation as
possible of how it would have been in its heyday in 1930s. Today approximately 175,000 people visit
Hidcote every year and entrance fees, donations, and legacies ensure the garden
is maintained to a high standard, and that the beauty that Lawrence Johnston
created between 1907 and 1948 will be preserved. Hidcote is open to the public
seven days a week from March through October and for weekends only
from November in December and January through March. Gardeners curate this living artwork
across the seasons to ensure visitors experience the garden as its creator
would have wanted. If you can’t make it to Hidcote in
person, you can enjoy a 360 degree virtual tour on your computer. Hidcote garden aims to be as
environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible.
All food waste from the catering outlets and generated by staff and volunteers is
composted alongside as much garden material waste as possible. All compost
used not supplied by Hidcote is 100% peat free and any plants that might need
to be brought in are peat free. Before hitting the road, we stopped in to the
cafe for a snack. You can’t visit England without having an egg and watercress
sandwich, which I washed down with local wild elderflower bubbly. We bought a few
plants for Marie, and for me, a few packs of seeds of the flowers I fell in love
with. You’ll notice a purple theme. My favourite, though, I didn’t bring back,
this exquisite version of Columbine. Okay, I have to get some Columbine. This is too
stunning. Hopefully, I’ll be back. (music ends) (birds chirping)


  • Reply King English show September 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Beautiful flowers love see them

  • Reply Marie Rowe September 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    What another wonderful film, Kaye! You really did a marvellous job of narration – full of such interesting and valuable information. Love the music too. I'm sure the people at Hidcote would love to see it too.

  • Reply omfug September 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I never get tired of seeing bees on flowers and hearing their buzz–one of life's small pleasures. I wish that I had gone to Hidcote and V Sackville West's garden last time I was in the UK, but it was not to be alas…

  • Reply فاروق سعد محمود September 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm


  • Reply Gilly Jaynes September 29, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you so much for your Hidcote Manor film. I live within an hours drive, but have never visited this famous garden – would you believe it!! However this summer we finally decided to go, but when we got there the queues to get in were so long that we decided against it and went home again. Oh dear: better luck next time!! I so enjoyed the walk around the garden with you Kaye.

  • Reply Patrick Meehan September 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Outstanding Gardens, video and narration Kaye. I really enjoyed that.

  • Reply Food Thyme September 29, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    What a lovely place for a stroll in the garden.. Amazing flowers and shrubs. Truly, lovely..Thank you Kaye for bringing such beauty to our screens.. Take care, Laura

  • Reply Daisy Jo September 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    What a lovely day 😉

  • Reply Martha Zook October 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm


  • Reply Jill C October 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    So beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to draw some of those flowers!

  • Reply MaRiLuggg October 13, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    English cottage gardens are so beautiful! Great video! =)

  • Reply Charu Chandiok Singh January 30, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Ah! Such beautiful flowers! I really want to visit this place someday.

  • Reply Patti Hayden February 7, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Such beauty!

  • Reply Mary Harvey May 31, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Hidcote is on my itinerary for September 2018. Your video makes me excited to see it. I’ll look for the Columbine! Do you or rather have you gone to Moss Mountain (P Allen Smiths Farm/Garden) in Arkansas? Looks worth a trip. Any tours there you know of? I’m in Palm Springs.

  • Reply Kevin James Parr November 11, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Lawrence Johnston was born in Paris France he was a British citizen heserved as Major in British armies during two wars. Hidcote is pronounced HIDCOT. johnston buried in local church hear gates to his gardens but went to France to build another .He died there and body brought back to be buried next to his mother in England. Only his mother was born in America.

  • Reply Kevin James Parr November 11, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Its hey day in 1930 had statues and a pavilion that went in 1955.

  • Reply Kevin James Parr March 24, 2019 at 10:58 am


  • Reply Ben F March 31, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Oh you where over here in U.K. xx

  • Reply Kevin James Parr April 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Major Lawrence Johnson was not an American only his mother was.He was born in France and made an English subject and citizen

  • Reply Botanical Treasures May 20, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Most enjoyable, thanks! I agree with you the columbine is really lovely. We saw a lot of columbine or aquilegia growing at Akureyri Botanical Garden in Iceland. English garden and Arctic garden—both delightful!

  • Reply Sheryl Williams September 8, 2019 at 6:51 am

    The purple iris 💜 it's all so beautiful

  • Leave a Reply