Sunday was a perfect day to visit Hidcote Manor Garden, which has been in the hands of The National Trust since 1948. With bottles of chilled water, a couple of ham rolls, a box of salad and some crisp green grapes to share (‘lashings of ginger beer, jam sandwiches, slabs of fruit cake and a bar of chocolate’, plus whatever Timmy used to eat?!) Mum and I were all set for a day out.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, a monster 10lb trout was caught and later bartered at the village pub for bottles of wine!
Hidcote is an extraordinary place to visit. I love the twists and turns, little paths and hidden corners. If you read and enjoyed imagining the Secret Garden when you were young, this is somewhere for you.
Here’s some information I’ve lifted from the NT website:
“Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts garden in the north Cotswolds, a stone’s throw from Stratford-upon-Avon. Created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston its colourful and intricately designed outdoor ‘rooms’ are always full of surprises. It’s a must-see if you’re on holiday in the Cotswolds.” (Or are near enough to visit for a day.)
“Explore the maze of narrow paved pathways and discover secret gardens, magnificent vistas and plants that burst with colour. Many of the plants found growing in the garden were collected from Johnston’s many plant hunting trips to far away places. It’s the perfect place if you’re in need of gardening inspiration.”
“Find a quiet spot and sit on one of the ornate benches and watch green woodpeckers search for their lunch or listen to the calls from the buzzards circling overhead. Time it right and you might catch a glimpse of the elusive hummingbird moth.”
“Meander through the intricate gardens and into the Wilderness. This secluded stretch of tall trees is just right for a picnic. Take a glimpse beyond the boundary and see the garden blend effortlessly into the countryside beyond.”
I heard beautiful birdsong while I walked among these trees.
The sunny weather began to look very grim after lunch, rain clouds covered the sky above and we felt a few drops of rain. However it stopped after about three drops per head and returned to glorious sunshine. Happy days!
“The Monarch’s Way path runs close-by. Follow it for a brief time from the car park and into the chocolate-box Cotswold hamlet of Hidcote Bartrim. You’ll be treated to traditionally thatched stone cottages that were once home to Johnston’s gardeners. They’re now owned by the Trust and rented out.”
You can enlarge the pic and read the gate’s sign. I took this photo with a specific friend in mind, she’ll know it’s for her!
What a lovely day out. I really enjoyed returning to Hidcote. It’s not a place to visit once a year; as you can probably tell from the photographs, there are many, many other plants ready to spring into life. I’m told that going every four to six weeks is an excellent way to see the garden change. Ginger beers and jam sandwiches at the ready!
Have you visited anywhere lovely which you want to share? Add a link below. I’d love to read about your day.