Easter Sunday found us driving out into the Cotswolds having been prevented from flying by an event taking place at our new airfield. We both absolutely adore the Cotswolds, and it’s our go-to place when we can’t think of anything else to do. With no destination in mind, we chanced upon Hidcote Garden, another nearby National Trust property not previously known to us. We started our visit with a bite to eat at Hidcote’s garden centre cafe, where it was warm enough to sit outside on their comfy outdoor sofa.
The day was sunnier than this photo makes it look! This is Hidcote Manor, the house around which the beautiful gardens are set.
You enter the garden through the house, which is covered in vegetation.
Only a couple of ground-floor rooms of the house are open to the public, which is a shame; I’m not sure whether the rest of the house is still lived in, but the two rooms we saw were very cosy.
The gardens were laid out after the First World War by an American chap who had become a British national. It took him 30 years!
The thatched cottages are where the gardeners originally lived; they’re now rented out by the National Trust. What a wonderful place to stay!
We weren’t far into the garden when we vowed to come back in the summer, when I’d imagine there will be lots more colourful flowers in bloom. It was still wonderful in the spring through, with the shoots starting to open out into fresh green leaves.
Each part of the garden has its own atmosphere and vista. On the left in this picture you can see the striking pink flowers of a magnolia tree.
A close-up of the magnolia. The petals were huge and the most gorgeous shade of pink. What was strange that there were no leaves on the tree – only these flowers.
You can see an even more impressive magnolia tree behind the hedge in this photo.
I loved these delicate, star-like blue flowers on the Alpine terrace.
A glimpse down one of the little pathways, with another magnificent magnolia in the background.
Another magnolia. Even this photo can’t do justice to how amazing this tree looked in real life!
I just love the contrast of the vivid pink against all the greens and browns.
A collection of beehives, from which bees were busily buzzing to and fro.
The beehives were next to a field of ewes, which had lambs.
If I had a garden like this, I don’t think I would ever leave my own property! I would do all my exercise by walking around my own garden and I would order food in from Ocado so I wouldn’t have to go to a supermarket. It’s such an amazing retreat from the outside world that it would be quite nice to live a hermit-like existence in it, and I could throw amazing parties if I ever got lonely!
This winding walkway led to the edge of the garden, with several sorts of daffodils lining the path.
New shoots heralding the arrival of spring.
The country views from the edge of the garden. I spotted a face in the bark of this tree – can you see it?
We spent ages watching the little lambs frolicking around in this picturesque paddock.
With the almost ethereal pink magnolia, this stone path looks as though it might lead into an enchanted kingdom.
This fountain was full of frogspawn, so it will be teaming with tadpoles very soon!
Near the fountain we spotted Toad of Toad Hall! (I just can’t help referring to all toads as such.)
This was a little garden room/summer house with a nice fresco on the wall and a display of plant pots.
This little potting shed contained some information about Lawrence Johnston, the designer of the garden. It was his mother who bought the manor; they were a family of wealthy stockbrokers from the East Coast of the USA.
There are plants at Hidcote from all over the world, and some of the more delicate ones are housed in this glass house.
We spent ages by the side of this pond looking at all the newts swimming around in it. There were loads, and the more you looked, the more you could see! They kept coming to the surface for air, and some were swollen with eggs.
Finally, a walk through these slender trees. The little hut to the right borders a tennis court, and visitors can hire vintage-style tennis racquets from the shop and have a game. We didn’t this time, but perhaps we will when we go back at a quieter time!
All in all, an unexpectedly lovely afternoon and somewhere we’ll definitely be going back to. Once again, the National Trust membership has really proved its worth. Information about visiting Hidcote can be found here.