Chelsea Flower Show Tour 2005
May 22-30, 2005


May 25th, Hidcote and Kiftsgate

After breakfast we headed out to Hidcote - 'The twisting lanes of the Cotswold countryside lead to one of the most inventive and influential gardens of the twentieth century. Hidcote Manor Garden, with its structure of outdoor 'rooms', linked by vistas and furnished with all sorts of topiary, recalls both the English garden style and the European connections of its creator Major Lawrence Johnston. Laid out over seventy years ago an astonishing variety of effects have been created. Hedges, walls, water and paving were all combined to create a garden that has its originals in the Arts and Crafts movement. Profuse and 'jungly' planting, rich colour and texture, contrast with areas left deliberately plain to give calm and restful interludes, so increasing the impact of the garden's lavish and exciting progression.' Just outside the entrance to Hidcote is a beautiful little lane that I wandered up before leaving ... there I found a thatched cottage, some sheep and ducks munching away and delighting in the sunshine, and wonderful little cement mushrooms that I have only seen in the Cotswold's.

The afternoon took us to Kiftsgate Court Gardens - created by three generations of women gardeners. Started by their grandmother Heather Muir in the twenties, continued by their mother Diany Binny from 1950 and now looked after by Anne Chambers and her husband plus their children lend a hand on occasion. The gardens are a plants man's delight reflecting the pleasure the family has had collecting species from all over the world.

Beautiful peonies, a Patty's Plum poppy caught just opening and a few minutes later almost completely open (with and without a light filter), red tulips poking out along a pathway.

After our visit here we went to Stratford upon Avon for a short visit. The house you see with the thatched roof is where Anne Hathaway used to live. Parts of this house date back to the 15th century.

Then a couple of pictures of a fellow re-thatching a cottage ... this is quite the art and each 'piece' of art has the artists signature ... usually some type of bird sitting on top of the roof in thatch.






  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row