Checking out what we might do while we were on holiday in Warwickshire, we found that there were several National Trust properties within 30 minutes drive. One that particularly took our fancy was Hidcote, only about 20 minutes away in the north Cotswolds. It’s famous for its “Arts and Crafts” style gardens and being interest in the movement we decided that a visit was a must. We drove over on the Bank Holiday Monday, but the traffic was light and, although busy, the gardens weren’t crowded.
The gardens were created by the American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston who’d moved to Britain with his mother at the turn of the 20th Century. He became a British citizen and fought in the British army during the Boer war. His mother remarried and bought Hidcote Manor in the north of the Cotswolds and he set about turning the surrounding fields into gardens.
I mainly associate the Arts and Crafts movement with architecture, furniture and the decorative arts, but its principles also influenced garden design. Notable garden designers associated with the style include Gertrude Jekyll who designed the garden at Lindisfarne Castle we’d seen a few years ago at the end of our walk on the St Cuthbert’s Way, and the Lancastrian, Thomas Mawson whose works included Rydal Hall gardens and the Rivington terraced gardens. Mawson wrote an influential book – ‘The Art and Craft of Garden Making’.
Curious about what comprised an “Arts and Crafts” style garden I did (as I often do) a little research! I discovered that that moving away from the grand, large scale sweeping landscapes normally associated with grand country houses, the garden is seen as an extension of the house and a space for outdoor living and leisure. They were more intimate, with smaller scale “garden rooms” topiary and colourful plantings. They frequently have water features and structures such as terraces, pergolas, summer houses and dry stone walls and local materials and craftsmanship are utilised. All of this was certainly true at Hidcote.
There was a lot to see – you could wander around for hours – we certainly did.
House and Garden “An introduction to the gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement“
Homes and Garden website – Arts and crafts garden design – 5 key elements for a backyard
Great British Gardens website – Arts and Crafts Gardens
Well, it all looks lovely, you made it there when things are looking really good. I’ll put it on the “someday” list.
Wait until you see my next post!
Should have said – not heard from you for a while. Hope you’re keeping well.
We’re well, just things get busy, travel, kids are our social activity leaders and keep us active. The garden clean up is slow this year because we’ve had an amazingly long indian summer! Hope you lot are well too. Best!
All good here! Glad to hear the same with you
A beautiful garden which I have read about but never yet visited – same goes for most places in the Cotswolds. I took my mum to Chipping Campden once and we were spoilt for tea shoppes.
We called into Chipping Camden on the way back to our holiday home. Very pretty.
That looks really lovely.
One of those many places I haven’t made it to yet; it looks jolly nice, though.
It is indeed!
Thanks so much for this. So interesting and, as usual, the photos are wonderful.
Thank you for sharing this adventure with us! Such lovely gardens! I can certainly imagine leisure time spent there.
Looks well worth a visit as a day out for us, not too far away