The Garden and Lawrence Johnston
by Graham S Pearson
Although I don't know where I heard of this book, I am so glad I remembered to purchase it! It was a joy to read.
This book first introduces you to Lawrence Johnston, the man, giving a summary from the time of his birth, his years in the military, and of course, the acquisition of Hidcote. I loved seeing the old photographs of him, his gardening staff, and the gardens.
I also enjoyed hearing how Mr. Johnston read books on gardening, designed his garden areas, worked the soil, and planted with a vision. Even though WWI interrupted Mr. Johnston's time at Hidcote, his passion for gardening never waned, and he began working in the gardens again upon his return.
The book also outlines the politics of giving this garden to the National Trust. I could only imagine having to give away a garden that took a lifetime to build, and it made me very sad. There is a chapter outlining the committee's decision regarding a memorial plaque and its inscription. It would be quite funny if it were not so appalling.
The second half of the book is a Tour of the Garden by Anna Pavord. The garden is divided into 29 separate sections, and each of these sections are described in each of the four seasons. Along with pictures, this part of the book is designed to give you a feel of the entire garden.
A large map of the garden is included, showing the placement of the 29 different sections. It is quite a large garden, and I am in awe of all that Mr. Johnston created. I am glad someone, somewhere, recommended this book. It was entertaining, enlightening, and enthralling.
Now it's your turn!
Please join in on the 20th of every month with your own garden book review (any book with a garden influence qualifies). And be sure to visit the other participants, too! :)