The Pillar Garden
The Pillar Garden is something, the likes of which I have never seen before. The vast yew pillars dominate this space. The strong tall columns are so architectural it creates the effect of walking through classical ruins.
This area of the garden was created in 1923 in the third phase of the garden development. At this stage Lawrence Johnston had employed Frank Adams as Head Gardener who had previously worked at Windsor Castle. To me this is one of the most striking areas at Hidcote and it really shows Johnston’s confidence, skill and design.
The garden houses 22 yew pillars set over 3 terraces which create the effect of entering three different gardens. The garden was developed in two phases and originally there were fewer pillars and they were in an L shape rather than the present U shape. Anna Pavord described the pillars in the Hidcote guidebook as being:
‘Poised for a dance, advancing towards each other across the central grass lawn, then retreating to their solid square bases to pose until the next visitor has disappeared.’
This to me shows the skill of what Johnston has been able to create here. Whether it is classical ruins or dancers or perhaps a myriad of other things, he has created something that captures your imagination.
The planting in the Pillar Garden brings a wonderful burst of colour which changes through the seasons. In May you are greeted with the wonderful sight of peonies and alliums which is a sight not to be missed. In August fuchsias and agapanthus explode from between the pillars.
Hidcote is a garden which changes with each season with new bursts of colour or sweet fragrances. To have seen all that Hidcote has to offer I can only say that you must come back each season! That is one of the joys of this spectacular garden; there are just so many reasons to return.