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100 years of Hidcote Manor Garden continued


In the June Bulletin, the events of 100 years ago when Lawrence Johnston and his mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop, came to Hidcote Manor and then the subsequent creation of Hidcote Manor garden leading up to its heyday in the 1930s were recalled. In this article, the transfer to the National Trust in 1948 and subsequent developments at Hidcote up to Lawrence Johnston's death in 1958 are covered.

In the 1930s, Lawrence Johnston was actively engaged in seeking plants for Hidcote or for his garden at Serre de la Madone at Menton on the south coast of France. He was both a sponsor of, and went on, plant hunting expeditions to places such as Formosa (Taiwan) and to Yunnan in China. When he was at Hidcote, he led an active social life as his diaries for 1929 and 1932 show that there were many coming to see the garden or to play tennis. Towards the end of the 1930s when he was in his late 60s, he spent his summers at Hidcote and the winter months at Serre de la Madone.

During the second World War he was concerned about the taxation associated with living in England and began to consider what he should do about Hidcote. James Lees-Milne, whose parents used to live at Wickhamford, records in his diary that in February 1943 at a luncheon organised by Sibyl Colefax, an influential figure in London society who is mentioned a few times in Lawrence Johnston's diaries, Johnston took him aside to ask if the National Trust would take over Hidcote without endowment after the war when he intended to live in the south of France for good.

Following the end of the war, Sibyl Colefax wrote in April 1947 to James Lees-Milne who was then working for the National Trust to say "I was over at Hidcote with Vivien Leigh Saturday. Laurie Johnston wants to give Hidcote to the N. T. now. So do get him tied up. You see he is not gaga but has no memory. He told me, indeed took me away specially to talk of this."

Ebrington wins Bronze Medal

Ebrington Gardening Club EntryEbrington and District Gardening Club wins a Bronze Medal at Hampton Court

It is the first time that the Club has entered the famous "The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show" in London and they came away with a bronze medal, which was a great achievem

50 best gardens to visit this summer

50 best gardens to visit this summer and six of them are within easy drive of Little Gidding, Ebrington.

The Daily Telegraph Gardening identified the 50 Best Gardens to visit this summer - "Inspirational,uplifting,educational or simply gorgeous - these gardens should not be missed."
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Whichford Pottery - the Dry Garden event

14th July Saturday/15th July Sunday - 10am to 5pm

Whichford Pottery is based near Shipston on Stour and was established in 1976 by Jim and Dominique Keeling.

100 years of Hidcote Manor Garden


It is one hundred years ago since Lawrence Johnston and his mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop, came to Hidcote Manor. On 22 June 1907. The Times advertised the Hidcote Manor estate, described as a valuable freehold farm comprising some 287 acres and 34 perches to-be sold by auction at the Noel Arms in Chipping Campden on Tuesday 2nd July 1907, with possession on 29th September 1907 - Michaelmas day, when most agricultural leases began and ended. The advertisement said that the farm would be sold together with the: very substantial and picturesque farm house, stone built, with, entrance hall, fine oak staircase, three sitting rooms, eight bedrooms, two box rooms, and usual offices, with lawns and large kitchen garden.

It went on to note that: the farm is particularly healthy, being situate on a spur of the Cotswolds at an elevation of from 500 to 800 feet above sea level and from it extensive views of the counties of Warwick, Worcester and Gloucester can be obtained. Meets of the Warwickshire, North Cotswold and Haythrop [sic] Hounds are within easy distance, and the partridge shooting on the estate is good.

The Kiftsgate Rose is the largest rose in the UK.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens have been chosen as one of the top ten rose gardens to visit in July

The Telegraph Gardening supplement voted Kiftsgate Court Gardens, near Chipping Campden as No.3 in the top ten rose gardens to visit . Kiftsgate Court is world famous for its Kiftsgate Rose which is the largest rose in the UK at almost 60ft high.

The National Collection of Asters

Aster novi-belgii26th September Upton House (NT) Aster Open Day

Continuing with the theme of National Collections, Upton House near Banbury has The National Collection of Asters and this unique and important collection will be the focus of an Open Day in September.

Asters have been around in the UK for over 400 years and the name comes from the Greek word for star.

National Plant Collection of Juglans

12th June Ebrington Gardening club visits Upton Wold

As part of it's extensive 2007/2008 programme Ebrington and District Gardening Club is visiting Upton Wold, near Moreton in Marsh, on Tuesday 12th June for a private evening visit.

The gardens are set around a c17th century manor house hidden in a wold and contain part of the National Collection of Juglans (Juglans are Walnut Trees).

The garden is ever developing and ever changing and has wonderful views.

Ebrington Gardening Club goes to Hampton Court

3rd July - 8th July Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2007

Hidcote Gardens - eat your heart out - Ebrington and District Gardening Club are going to the Hampton Court Flower Show in July.

Ebrington are going for gold in the RHS Window Box and Hanging Basket Competition.

Chipping Campden Gardens open

16th and 17th of June Gardens open in Chipping Campden

More than 20 gardens will be open this year. Tickets are available from outside the town hall from 12pm each day. All proceeds will go to Action Medical Research.

Cotswold Event Calendar
Event days are highlighted above. Click on a date to see events for that day.
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