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Hidcote Manor Garden

Listed under Gardens in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Hidcote Manor Garden
  • Photo of Hidcote Manor Garden
  • Photo of Hidcote Manor Garden
  • Photo of Hidcote Manor Garden
Photo of Hidcote Manor Garden
Photo by flickr user gothick_matt
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Today’s gardeners and designers throw around the term “garden room,” but you don’t know garden rooms until you’ve seen Hidcote Manor. This National Trust garden was created by Lawrence Johnston when he moved there with his mother in 1907. Johnston, an American, built a series of spaces that were to be enjoyed one at a time, but always with the enticing thought of something else around the corner.

The lines are formal. Long, neatly clipped hedges of yew, beech and holly create linear spaces. Within this frame, Johnston planted the red borders, which are separated from the “stilt garden” (pleached hornbeams pruned up to see the trunks) by a set of pavilions. The long walk is a lawn, stunning in its simplicity, which draws the eye to the gate at the end. Beyond the gate is only space.

The gardens at Hidcote are carefully thought out; Johnston designed the different rooms to be viewed from within, not as pictures to be seen from the house. His plant palette was broad. He gardened at a time when plants new to Western gardens were being brought back from Asia, Europe and South America. Johnston sponsored expeditions, and even participated in some. He introduced such plants as the pineapple broom (Cytisus battandieri) and Lavandula ‘Hidcote.’

Until recently, little was known about Johnston, even though he gave Hidcote to the National Trust in 1948. Actually, little was known just for that reason: Johnston had told his friend and fellow designer Norah Lindsay that she would inherit Hidcote, but Lindsay died before Johnston. When he gave the property to the National Trust, Lindsay’s daughter, who thought she would be next in line to inherit, was so angry she burned all the garden records she could get her hands on: plant lists, designs, plans. Now, with a large donation from an American (and distant relative of Johnston’s) providing the funds to pay for research, much has been learned about Hidcote and Johnston’s work. This is helping in restoration of some areas and providing details about the garden’s history.

Written by  Marty Wingate.

Other expert and press reviews

“The Garden of Hidcote”

The idea of the garden room bordered by an eye-catching combination of plants was pioneered here by American-born British soldier and garden creator, Lawrence Johnston, who moved to Hidcote in 1907. The red borders, which date from 1913 are said to be t… Read more...

Written by  Kent Ross.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I have looked everywhere online and cannot find any useful links as to how to get between startford upon avon and mickleton. Help please

1 Reply

Best to get in touch with Hidcote Manor themselves and ask - they must help lots of people so know all the bus routes.


and how would i get from birmingham to mickleton the easiest way on bus or train?

1 Reply

The village enjoys a road network allowing access to Cheltenham, Birmingham, Oxford and London and there are bus services to Chipping Campden and Stratford upon Avon, and a mini bus service to Moreton in Marsh from where main line train services run to London.


Hello Im staying in birmingham for 10 days in may and would like to visit hidcote manor gardens. I do not drive and was wondering if you could provide me with any advice on easiest way to get from birmingham to hidcote manor gardens

1 Reply

You can walk from Mickleton - it's 1½ miles on public footpath, but the National Trust website says it's quite steep.

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