Garden & Outbuildings: Hidcote is one of the most inventive and influential gardens of the 20th century and one of England's great gardens. It was designed and created in the Arts & Crafts style by the American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, who spent 40 years creating the sublime gardens here. Johnston's mother, Gertrude Winthrop, bought Hidcote Manor Estate in 1907, after which Johnston started plans to convert the fields that surrounded the 17th century manor house into gardens. By 1910 he had begun to lay out the basic structure of the garden, and by the 1920s there were 12 full-time gardeners working at Hidcote. Johnston was influenced by the work of Gertrude Jekyll and Alfred Parsons, who, in the early 20th century, were designing flower gardens of hardy plants within sequences of outdoor rooms. An enthusiastic plant collector, Johnston sponsored and undertook several expeditions to South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa to bring back rare specimens. He also developed a number of varieties at Hidcote, including the narrow-leaved lavender Hidcote lavandula angustifolia and the Hidcote Pink penstemon. The Hidcote garden takes the form of a series of outdoor rooms, each with its own character and theme and separated by yews, box hedges, hornbeam, and stone walls. The rooms, such as the Fuchsia Garden and the White Garden, are linked by creative vistas and furnished with topiaries. Some of the rooms feature ponds and fountains, and all are planted with flower beds and outstanding herbaceous borders. Hidcote was acquired by the National Trust in 1947. In 2007 a garden inspired by Hidcote was designed by Chris Beardshaw and constructed at the Chelsea Flower Show.
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Grade I
Past Seat of: Major Lawrence Johnston, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction