I stood at the gate at the top of the village wondering where the path was I’d been told would be obvious. Two ladies appeared, out for a walk, and pointed in a diagonal across the field. Just go that way, they said, and when you get to the top you’ll see the next gate.
This was my second visit to Hidcote Manor Garden, the first the day before my walking career in England began in the fall of 2000, on the Cotswold Way which begins in nearby Chipping Campden. Along with Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson’s Sissinghurst in Kent, Hidcote is thought to be one of the most influential gardens in England. Created by an American, Lawrence Johnston in the early 20th century, it’s considered part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, and like Sissinghurst, designed as a series of garden “rooms”, so the viewer moves from one to the next, each revealed in turn.
I was staying for the week in the next village, Hidcote Boyce, chosen for its proximity to this garden and another, a short walk away, the privately owned Kiftsgate. I had the good fortune to be accompanied this visit by my friend, Carol, recently a steward at Hidcote, a wealth of knowledge which she shared with me as we walked. Carol lives in another nearby village and we met at the garden entrance.
John Fowles says in The Tree, “…all words miss, I know I cannot describe it.”
I’ll show you some pictures and let the garden speak for itself.
A Hidcote Garden Gallery
Back across the fields, through the gate, home to Hidcote Boyce.
Hidcote is owned by The National Trust.
See an Ordnance Survey map of the neighborhood here, with the path marked as a green broken line between Hidcote Boyce and Hidcote Bartrim.
Next week another garden, Hidcote’s neighbor, Kiftsgate.
Find all episodes of ‘PortMoresby in England’ here.