The garden at Hidcote

The garden is divided into a series of ‘outdoor rooms’, each with its own character. The formality of the ‘rooms’ melts away as you move through the garden away from the house.

Summer in Hidcote garden

Different flowers reach their peak at various periods throughout the summer, creating a river of bloom which will flow through the season. Many of our roses will only flower once in June, so it is the perfect time to make the most of them. Various types of campanulas will flash their pastel colours from early to mid-summer. Towards the end of the season, at least a dozen different cultivars of salvias will spring up and delight the garden.

Some of our summer bedding for 2022 includes:

East Court

Diascia personata, Calendula 'Canteloupe' and Salvia viridis 'Oxford Blue'

Maple Garden

Centaurea 'John Coutts', Heliotrope 'Lord Roberts', Heliochrysum petiolaris, Coreopsis 'Roulette' and Miscanthus 'Morning Light'.

Old Garden

Lilium regale, Penstemon 'Stapleford Gem', Oenothera lindheimeri and Ammi majus.

Taming the Productive Garden

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, our priority in the garden has been to maintain the standards in the formal flower gardens, given the effects of furloughing staff and asking volunteers to stay at home. In 2020 the Productive Garden (Kitchen Garden) was sown with Crimson Clover, a green manure, that helped to suppress the weeds. Then in 2021, we used some of the ground to encourage plants needed in the garden to ‘bulk up’, however the weeds enjoyed the clear ground too!  Other areas of the Productive Garden were covered with Mypex to reduce the amount of weeding to be done and our annual supply of pumpkins enjoyed the extra space to sprawl. From mid-2021 our brilliant volunteers came back and were able to be at Hidcote more regularly, supporting the Garden Team in making headway as the lines of plants were exposed.


Passion for plants

Plant hunting trips around the world made sure that Hidcote had variety, colour and scent throughout the garden. Lawrence Johnston created the garden and was passionate about plants. He went to endless trouble and expense to find unusual varieties that would bring colour, scent, shape and texture to the garden.

He travelled a lot, visiting faraway places like the Alps, South Africa and China. He also exchanged plants with gardeners in far-flung countries from Australia to Japan. He carefully selected only the finest varieties to bring back to Hidcote.

Mrs Winthrop's Garden at Hidcote
Mrs Winthrop's Garden at Hidcote
Mrs Winthrop's Garden at Hidcote

Over the years many plants have been named after Johnston or Hidcote, in recognition of his talent and plantsmanship. Examples still in cultivation today:

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
  • Hypericum 'Hidcote Gold'
  • Dianthus 'Hidcote Red'
  • Fuchsia 'Hidcote Beauty'
  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Pink'


No labels to be seen

At Hidcote we aim to keep as true to Lawrence Johnston's garden as we possibly can.

Johnston's garden was private and secluded, not a botanical show garden. To keep his spirit alive, very few of the plants are labelled today.

Did a plant catch your eye when you visited? Not sure what it was? We can help. Email us and a member of our gardening team will let you know what it is.

Don’t forget to:

  • Tell us where you saw it.
  • Add include some photos of it.
Hidcote Long Borders
Hidcote Pillar Garden in Spring
Hidcote Long Borders

Silent Spaces

The Italian Shelter at Hidcote, located near the Bathing Pool, is a dedicated silent space. Here visitors can have a seat and take a moment to enjoy the sounds of nature. Silent spaces provide shelter, a resting place and a seat with a view to enjoy in peaceful silence.

“As we connect with nature, we also connect more deeply with ourselves” SilentSpaces

Silent Space is a non-for-profit project set up by garden writer Liz Ware in 2016. With over 60 gardens from Scotland to Cornwall taking part to provide a reserved area in nature for members of the public to have a moment of silence. Allowing you to switch off from technology and stop talking. Hidcote joined the project in 2020 dedicating the Italian Shelter a space for visitors to enjoy the sounds of nature.

For more information about Silent Space please visit the Silent Space website

The Italian shelter at Hidcote
The Italian shelter at Hidcote
The Italian shelter at Hidcote

Autumn at Hidcote

As we move into Autumn the design and structure of the garden comes into focus; with visitors treated to new sights, smells and colours unique to this time of year. The Garden Team are always busy over this period, when most of the hedge-cutting happens as well as clearing herbaceous borders, lifting and dividing perennials, mulching, bulb planting and lawn care work. It's certainly not a quiet time of year. With the change in weather, combined with the seasonal work, most areas of grass will be closed and occasionally there will be alternative routes around other areas of the garden.

Close up of the flowers in the Pillar Garden

Pillar Column Rejuvenation Project 2021

With every opportunity for a new start in 2021; Hidcote’s Garden Team were sharpening their saws over Christmas 2019 ready to get started on the most significant project in recent times: the Pillar Garden.

Bathing pool and Fuchsia Garden

Hidcote virtual tours

Enjoy magnificent views, discover exotic plants and experience vivid floral displays on a 360 degree virtual tour of Hidcote. Pictures taken August 2010.

Useful information

Hidcote is open 10am to 5pm, with the last admission to the gardens at 4pm. We recommend booking your admission ticket in advance. Find out all you need to know to plan and book your visit.

Group enjoying an introductory talk at Hidcote

Group visits at Hidcote

Are you a group wishing to visit Hidcote? Find out all you need to know about group visits to Hidcote here.