Hidcote, often cited as the most famous garden in England, was created by Lawrence Johnson in the Cotswolds and has been a strong influence on garden design. Themed rooms, enclosed by hedges formed out of yew, beech and hornbeam, feature stunning vistas adorned with pools, topiary, a combination of various paving textures as well as lush green pathways, and a restrained use of garden ornament. The book begins with a chapter on the garden's creator and surprisingly, little is known about him. Johnson was born to American parents in Paris and traveled the world through a career in the military. His mother bought the Cotswolds property in 1907 and Johnson lived there with her and set about to transform the property in the legendary garden that it is today. His gardening style and influences are not really known as he didn't keep journals or records. He was a private man whose contacts in the gardening community were limited but it is generally assumed that he was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, headed by Gertrude Jeckyll and Edward Lutyens. Whatever his influences, Johnson crafted a unique garden which is now maintained by the National Trust.
Each chapter covers a specific "room" in the garden and a map is coded with numbers to show the various areas of the garden. The entire garden consists of 21 different areas (The Red Borders, Alpine Terrace, Stilt Garden, and Rose Walk are just a few examples). The photographs by Tony Lord are stunning and many are featured on full pages. This is a stunning book, the next best thing to being there!