Pinterest is a wonderful resource. It’s an online picture board, on which you can capture those images that tell your story (any story) and share them with the world. You can visit my Ship of Haunts Pinterest board here: the board gives insights into the novel as well as the themes behind the book, principally child migration, RMS Titanic and a number of other ships.
Because it’s spring, I thought we’d have a change from ghosts, and for this post, focus on gardens and plants instead. Gardening and plants are one of my loves and I’m always looking for new gardens to visit and enjoy. Hidcote Manor Garden, near Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon, was created by horticulturalist Lawrence Johnston, starting in 1907 and taking several decades, creating one of the country’s great Art & Crafts gardens.
Hidcote is a series of rooms, and each part of the garden holds something different. He intentionally made those areas close to the house formal in design and structure, with those further away more natural in appearance.
Johnston also developed another garden at Serre de la Madone in the south of France, where he retired, shortly after giving Hidcote to the National Trust in 1948. When he finally died he was buried in the small churchyard in Mickleton, not far from Hidcote. The word finally, is apt, because in 1914, he was so badly wounded he was laid out for burial.
In the Second World War, gardeners at Hidcote grew potatoes on the Great Lawn.
You can see my full Hidcote garden story on Pinterest (link at the end). Here are just a few tasters.
Hidcote requires a lot of maintenance and has 12 full-time gardeners and two student gardeners, with support from 35 volunteers.
Apart from the trees, there are a number of interesting buildings at Hidcote and in the nearby hamlet of Hidcote Bartrim. The manor house itself was built in 1664.
Hidcote wasn’t the best place to create one of the country’s greatest gardens. Its exposed position, high on a Cotswold hillside, meant it needed a lot of protection from the worst the weather could produce. But this didn’t stop Johnston. The first paying visitors arrived in 1949. That year, 1,160 people visited, today, the number is over 140,000.
Many of the plants at Hidcote were collected on one of Johnston’s plant hunting trips. Plants are not labelled at Hidcote because the garden is presented much as it would have been in Johnston’s day.
Here’s the link to my Pinterest Hidcote page.
AND FINALLY… Keep checking in, because soon I’ll be sharing some exciting news. Ghosts coming up…
Find out more about Hidcote at:
Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.
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