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! :)
I've actually heard of Hidcote but never knew what it was about. Sounds like a wonderful garden read. Yes, I would be sad to give away my garden as well, so this would be a good book for me. I'm doing another of my tropical garden books this month. Thanks, Holley, for sharing your MEME with us.ReplyDelete
Thanks for joining in, David. I hope the day never comes that I have to give away my garden. After all the years he worked to create this large property, I know it was hard for him to move away from it, too.Delete
Very interesting! I'm out of town this week and woefully unprepared for blogging away from home, so I won't be joining in this month. Love reading all the book reviews, though!ReplyDelete
I hope you're having a very good time, and that you get to visit a garden or two while you're away! :)Delete
I have heard of this as well and will look for this for some great garden reading...thx for hosting the meme HolleyReplyDelete
I could relate to him in all the things we gardeners do - how he was always reading garden books, how he loved being in the garden, and creating more garden areas, etc. I was glad to read more about the man in addition to having a tour of the garden.Delete
Hidcote - this garden is on my bucket list - hope I manage to see it before I die. If I don't make it, at least I can get this book, the next best thing to being there. Holley, sorry I'm not joining in this month, haven't got a book review ready in time, but hopefully I'll get my act together next month, or else the next month ... etc. cheers, catReplyDelete
I would love to see it, too, although it left a bitter taste in my mouth a bit that it became necessary for him to give it away. Of course, times and circumstances were different then. I hope you get to join in next month. Until then, I hope you will find the time to check the book out at your local library. :)Delete
I just read Farm city by novella carpenter. Very interesting as she manages to have a sustainable "farm" in the middle of a large city. I was amazed at all she accomplished on a tight budget.ReplyDelete
I have read that book, and I loved it! I wish you would write a book review and join in! :)Delete
If you are enchanted with Hidcote - me too! I visited many many years ago - you must go look at Bertie Baindbridge's blog! He has been studying and working at Hidcote and his past posts are all about the garden and his garden education. Fascinating. You can find him at whathohidcote.blogspot.comReplyDelete
Thanks so much for the information about Bertie's blog! I envy you a bit being able to see some of these great gardens that I can only read about.Delete
Very interesting! It was very wise person who recommended tour this book.ReplyDelete
Yes, it was. I tried to find where I learnt of it, but couldn't. Still, I'm grateful to them.Delete
That seems like an interesting book. I have check if it has been published in Finnish...ReplyDelete
Good luck. This is put out by the National Trust, and first published in the United Kingdom, so perhaps you will be able to find it.Delete
Hello Holly. Thank you for hosting this meme. I saw Hidcote Manor on BBC television many times. The garden is beautiful, like many English gardens. I am glad to be able to join your meme again. I see that the book I read was reviewed before here. I hope that is not a problem.ReplyDelete
That is not a problem at all! I think it's great to get more than one review on a book. That way, the readers get more than one perspective. :) And thanks for mentioning BBC. I will have to start looking at that channel for some garden programs!Delete
Amazing review indeed! It sounds like a very interesting book. Nice post.ReplyDelete
Thanks. It was an interesting book about an obsessed gardener like most of us!Delete
Sounds like a good book, Holley. Thanks for recommending it...ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by, Betsy! :)Delete
The name of this garden is familiar, but the garden isn't. Judging from the cover alone, this looks like a beautiful garden and sounds like an interesting read.ReplyDelete
Lawrence Johnston is most famous for his Red Borders. (Although there was much more to this garden than this one area.) I was amazed at all the different reds used. There is even a planting plan with 67 different plants listed in the book. It would be a fun thing to try in a garden!Delete
Thanks for the review. I was not familiar with Hidcote, now I will check it out. And I'll remember about the 20th of the month.ReplyDelete
I hope you'll join us with a book review next month. :)Delete
Hey Holley! I made it this month! Amazing huh?ReplyDelete
That looks like a great book. I would love to have Anna Pavord walk me around Hidcote. I adore another book on Hidcote by Fred Whitsey. You might enjoy a look through that one as well!
Thanks for hosting!
I think that actually was the book that was recommended to me! But for some reason, this was the book I chose instead. I buy all my books used, so perhaps the one by Fred Whitsey was not available, or too pricey for me at that time. I may have to look for it again! Thanks for joining in!Delete
I have wanted to see this garden for some time, and hope to one day. I will go to Bertie's blog for sure.ReplyDelete
I hope you get to see it one day, too. It would be a dream come true to have a British garden tour vacation!Delete
I have had Hidcote Manor on my list of must see gardens for a long time. I love British gardens! And I never thought of it before, but the lavender known as 'Hidcote' must have originated there! Thank you for hosting the monthly book reviews. I enjoy them!ReplyDelete
The British do seem to have the perfect climate for gardens. The rest of us just have to grow what won't die! ;)Delete
How very worthwhile to give book reviews such as this. Every time I hear of Hidcote, the first thing that enters my mind is, (Lavender.)ReplyDelete
I have found some great books to read that I wouldn't have heard of otherwise. I will have to thumb through the book again to find the reference on their lavender!Delete
Oh darn, I missed the book review! I think I'll aim for every other month until my schedule clears up a little bit in the winter. That book looks like a great one! It's wonderful to have your list of suggestions as a resource. I love your bench with the frog sculpture, by the way!ReplyDelete
I think winter will be when more people read books, although I read garden books year round. I think you would enjoy this book. I hope you get the opportunity to check it out sometime. Thanks for the compliment on the bench and frog, too! :)Delete
I think of lavender, too when I hear Hidcote. I'm not familiar with the garden so I will have to look it up.ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting. I belatedly posted a review this month.
I'm so glad you joined in! I look forward to reading your review.Delete
I am familiar with the name Hidcote, this book sounds like a good read, and it does sound very sad too. I will keep my eyes open, it might turn up somewhere, thanks Holleygarden for the book review, will try to join in soon. Have a nice day.ReplyDelete
I hope you find it, and I hope you enjoy it. I'm also glad you plan to join in in the future. :)Delete
I am intrigued by Lawrence Johnston. There is an air of sadness about his story. He must have seen dreadful carnage as a soldier, perhaps it motivated him to create beautiful spaces. He left his garden in France, Jardin Serre de la Madone, to the daughter of a friend. Unfortunately his trust was misplaced as she neglected it.ReplyDelete
I am sorry to hear that about his garden in France. Perhaps giving this garden to the National Trust was the best action after all. I bet he, like most of us gardeners, found great solace in his garden. It's amazing how nature can heal.Delete
I would love to read this book. I like how you described how Mr. Johnson planted with a vision. It must've been quite a vision to be such a lasting garden. I'd love to have that vision!ReplyDelete
Oh, I would, too! I can't begin to imagine all it took to create such a large and interesting garden.Delete
Holley, I love adding books about old English gardens especially if they share the gardener's philosophy. I often find that theories we think are so new are actually quite old.ReplyDelete
I think you're right Carolyn - like the saying goes, "There's nothing new under the sun"! :)ReplyDelete