Monday, 31 July 2017

Beautiful Britain - Hidcote Manor Gardens NT, Gloucestershire

A few weeks ago now I literally had the loveliest of days ... meeting up with an old friend at Hidcote Manor Gardens, a National Trust property in Gloucestershire.

We chilled, we chatted and we ambled the day away, it was a real treat.

We were so lucky with the weather, it was just glorious, which made everything look so vibrant and colourful ... and feel just sooooooo relaxing.

I had been to Hidcote before, but at a different time of year, and it is just one of those gardens you could visit every month and see something different.

It is tucked away down narrow country lanes in the heart of The Cotswolds, with an old manor house made of honeyed cotswold stone surrounded by the loveliest of gardens, being divided into a series of ‘outdoor rooms’, each with its own character. The formality of the ‘rooms’ melting away as you move through the garden away from the house.
We started our visit with cups of Earl Gray and flapjack for me and a scone for my friend in The Barn Cafe.

It had been a while since we'd met up so we had a good old chinwag over our cuppas, catching up on all the news of becoming grandparents and aunties, garden projects and just life in general
We started our visit in the laundry room garden, listening to a short introductory talk about the history of the garden, its owners, and the work that the National Trust is doing to help restore it back to its heyday of the 1930s.

We then spent a good hour or so having a really good wander around exploring every corner.

We started our meanderings by wandering through the Pine Garden, past the Lily Pool to the Plant House.

  The border at the front of The Plant House just looked amazing ...

We spent a good while in The Plant House, taking inspiration for what to do with a stack of succulents that Martin and I bought recently for our own garden, knowing we wanted to do something with them, but not quite sure what.
We made our way through The Plant House and into The Long Borders, where the summer planting is just starting to go over but there is still plenty to catch the eye.
It was then on to the Kitchen Garden, with plenty of fruit, veg, herbs and flowers for cutting, being tended to by what seemed like an army of Gardeners. 
It was then on to the myriad of garden rooms, with shady doorways and gaps in the hedging just drawing us in, wanting to see what was hidden beyond.

Hidcote just does this absolutely brilliantly, each area feels so self contained and separate from the rest of the garden but it all flows on beautifully from one room to the next, each with something unique to wonder at and to set it apart from the rest.

There are some lovely views of the manor house, looking back through the planting from The White and The Old Gardens ....
I was well chuffed to find some Franco Sonchifolia in The White Garden, having just bought some of this on a recent visit to Canons Ashby, another NT property near Daventry. It was good to see how it would look in situ.
From The Old Garden we made our way through to The Circle and The Fuchsia Garden, passing more beautiful views looking back at the house on our way.
 
It was then down the steps made of old roofing tiles laid edge on, to The Bathing Pool Garden.
We lingered a fair while in The Bathing Pool garden, both desperate to catch a good picture of the steps, framed by topiary, with no other visitors just poking their heads into the shot from behind the hedges. I think it was worth it ...
As well as the old bathing pool we found the tallest delphiniums that either of us had ever seen and and, through the hedge under the cover of the rain shelter, a fabulous mural of how things must have looked in days gone by ...
We then headed down through The Wilderness, via The Upper Stream Garden and Hydrangea Corner ...
... to the extremity of the garden on this side, where there were wonderful views of the bordering open countryside to be had ...
We made our way back up The Long Walk, desperate for people-less photos, but having no luck whatsoever ...
The Red Borders were looking very impressive in The Summer Sunshine and, as access was closed off, it was nice and easy to get some good shots ...
 
Having covered nearly every inch of footpath and seen all that there was to see it was time for lunch and we were lucky enough to bag a table outside in the courtyard.

Lunch was a very chilled out affair. Quiche, salad, coleslaw and new potatoes, with lots of produce coming from the kitchen garden, followed by our second helping of cake for the day.

Time to exchange photos of new babies and projects under way, enjoying the warm sunshine, before heading for the shop and plant sales.

The plant sales area is laid out beautifully and we were reliably informed, by the ladies responsible for displaying them, that Hidcote has one of the best plant selections of all of the National Trust properties and in our experience we were both in complete agreement.

Everything was laid out creatively, giving lots of inspiration for what could be replicated back at home. There was a huge variety of plants, all looking very healthy and all displayed beautifully and imaginatively. 
I just couldn't help but treat our newly renovated garden with a rustic metal plant display stand, which I am hoping will be just the job for displaying some of those succulents that we don't quite know what to with. 

Here's how its looking now ...
I only wished, after I'd got home, that I'd also purchased some of these pots, which are the prettiest I've seen in a long time and are nowhere else to be found at all on the World Wide Web.
By the time we were ready to head for home it was about 4pm, so we had easily managed to spend a full day at the gardens, so we would both definitely recommend a visit.

There is another garden just down the road ......, which one of the nice plant ladies told us was completely different to Hidcote, but beautiful too and well worth looking at, so definitely one to add to the list for another day.

A big thank you to The National Trust for yet another lovely day out.

4 comments:

  1. As always, great! I envy you.

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    1. Thank you Elena. We certainly do have some beautiful places in this country 😂

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  2. Enjoyed reading your blog, Carol. As a volunteer guide and speaker at Hidcote, I visit The gardens at least once every fortnight and every time I see something new and inspiring. It's so encouraging to hear of the enjoyment you got from spending a day at Hidcote and your photos were excellent!

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    1. Thank you Geoff. There were certainly plenty of photo opportunities, the gardens were looking beautiful. Thank you so much for commenting. It is good to know that there are people pit there reading my Ramblings. 😃

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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.