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.
Taming the Kitchen Garden
Since the beginning of the pandemic our priority has been to maintain the standards in the formal flower gardens, given the effects of furloughing staff and asking volunteers to stay at home. Last year the Kitchen Garden was sown with Crimson Clover, a green manure, that helped to suppress the weeds. This year, we have used some of the ground to encourage plants needed in the garden to ‘bulk up’, however the weeds have enjoyed the clear ground too! Other areas of the Kitchen Garden have been covered with Mypex to reduce the amount of weeding to be done and our annual supply of pumpkins are enjoying the space to sprawl.
Our brilliant volunteers are now able to be at Hidcote more regularly and they are already making headway as the lines of plants are exposed. In the meantime, the insect populations are enjoying the flowers.
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.
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.
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 www.silentspaces.org.uk