//Straw Bale Gardening Start to Finish – Conditioning/Curing your Straw Bale

Straw Bale Gardening Start to Finish – Conditioning/Curing your Straw Bale

Straw Bale Gardening Start to Finish – Conditioning/Curing your Straw Bale

Randy and Amanda show you how to set up, cure and plant in a straw bale garden. Lots of tips, tricks and best use info here!

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Hidcote Manor Garden (NT)

Hidcote – the most influential English garden of the 20th century – and Lawrence Johnston, the enigmatic genius behind it. Hidcote was the first garden ever taken on by the National Trust, who spent 3.5 million pounds in a major programme of restoration. This included researching Johnston’s original vision, which in turn uncovered the compelling story of how Johnston created such an iconic garden.

Until recently, little was known about the secretive and self-taught Johnston. He kept few, if any, records on Hidcote’s construction, but current head gardener Glyn Jones made it a personal mission to discover as much about the man as possible to reveal how, in the early 20th century, Johnston set about creating a garden that has inspired designers all over the world.


Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts garden in the north Cotswolds, a stone’s throw from Stratford-upon-Avon. Created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston its colourful and intricately designed outdoor ‘rooms’ are always full of surprises. It’s a must-see if you’re on holiday in the Cotswolds.

Explore the maze of narrow paved pathways and discover secret gardens, magnificent vistas and plants that burst with colour. Many of the plants found growing in the garden were collected from Johnston’s many plant hunting trips to far away places. It’s the perfect place if you’re in need of gardening inspiration.

Find a quiet spot and sit on one of the ornate benches and watch green woodpeckers search for their lunch or listen to the calls from the buzzards circling overhead. Time it right and you might catch a glimpse of the elusive hummingbird moth.

Meander through the intricate gardens and into the Wilderness. This secluded stretch of tall trees is just right for a picnic. Take a glimpse beyond the boundary and see the garden blend effortlessly into the countryside beyond.

The Monarch’s Way path runs close-by. Follow it for a brief time from the car park and into the chocolate-box Cotswold hamlet of Hidcote Bartrim. You’ll be treated to traditionally thatched stone cottages that were once home to Johnston’s gardeners.


Hidcote Manor Garden

Hidcote Manor Garden is a garden in Britain, located at Hidcote Bartrim village, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. It is one of the best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked "rooms" of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders. Created by Lawrence Johnston, it is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.


The Americans, Lawrence Johnston and his mother, settled in Britain about 1900, and Lawrence immediately became a British citizen and fought in the British army during the Boer war. In 1907 Johnston’s mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop (she had re-married), purchased the Hidcote Manor Estate. It was situated in a part of Britain with strong connections to the then-burgeoning Arts and Crafts movement and an Anglicized American artistic expatriate community centred nearby at Broadway, Worcestershire.

Johnston soon became interested in turning the fields around the house into a garden. By 1910 he had begun to lay out the key features of the garden, and by the 1920s he had twelve full-time gardeners working for him.

After World War II Johnston spent most of his time at Jardin Serre de la Madone, his garden in the south of France; and in 1947 he entrusted Hidcote to the National Trust.

Character of Hidcote garden

Lawrence Johnston was influenced in creating his garden at Hidcote by the work of Alfred Parsons and Gertrude Jekyll, who were designing gardens of hardy plants contained within sequences of outdoor "rooms". The theme was in the air: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson’s Sissinghurst Castle Garden was laid out as a sequence of such spaces, without, it seems, direct connection with the reclusive and shy Major Johnston. Hidcote’s outdoor "rooms" have various characters and themes, achieved by the use of box hedges, hornbeam and yew, and stone walls. These rooms, such as the ‘White Garden’ and ‘Fuchsia Garden’ are linked, some by vistas, and furnished with topiaries. Some have ponds and fountains, and all are planted with flowers in bedding schemes. They surround the 17th century manor house, and there are a number of outhouses and a kitchen garden.

Johnston’s care in selecting the best plants is reflected in the narrow-leaved lavender, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’, in the Penstemon ‘Hidcote Pink’ and in the hybrid Hypericum ‘Hidcote Gold’, acclaimed as the finest hardy St John’s Wort, Alice Coats records.
By Dave Catchpole on 2013-08-10 07:59:40

By |2017-12-29T14:49:42-08:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Gardening Videos|31 Comments

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  1. Pete Millar 2017-12-29 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    whats the measure for "quite a bit"

  2. William Morse 2017-12-29 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    Thank You, This our first year trying and just ending the conditioning and monitoring the temp.

  3. Kelley Braut 2017-12-29 at 2:52 PM - Reply

    I’m very confused by this video. I understand the strings on the bale or to run parallel to the ground, which means the strings themselves would never be under the bales, but always on the sides. The bale she planting in at the 8 minute mark has the strings running across the top and bottom of the bales. What gives? Am I misunderstanding something?

  4. Susannah Ayres-Thomas 2017-12-29 at 2:52 PM - Reply

    Thanks for. Your very clear tutorial. Yes, I gave you a thumb-up, &"yes, I subscribed. My hub & I are doing straw baled gardening for the 1st time, and we, too, want to go green. So, again, thank you so much!

  5. J T 2017-12-29 at 2:56 PM - Reply

    Great video! after you put in the plant how often do you water thru-out the growing season? Thanks

  6. Moby Dave 2017-12-29 at 2:58 PM - Reply

    Hey guys I havn’t seen any of your videos lately and I don’t know why. But I am wandering if rabbit manure would work to fertilize the straw bales?

  7. Robert L. Fallin 2017-12-29 at 2:58 PM - Reply

    temps. how high?

  8. woodbut1 2017-12-29 at 2:59 PM - Reply

    Thank’s for the info, new sub…..going to give it a shot……..will keep you posted

  9. scan1982 2017-12-29 at 2:59 PM - Reply

    Where are you? That currency is unfamiliar.

  10. scan1982 2017-12-29 at 3:02 PM - Reply


  11. atariforever2002 2017-12-29 at 3:06 PM - Reply

    Your bales are upside down by the way. Put the cut side up, you’ll have better luck.

  12. Pam Richie 2017-12-29 at 3:07 PM - Reply

    my plants are lookin pale and we have mushrooms growing , what’s our problem , we have had a lot of rain

  13. Ray 2017-12-29 at 3:12 PM - Reply

    Your bales should be cut side or straws up. Strings should be on sides.

  14. Getting There Green 2017-12-29 at 3:15 PM - Reply

    We got Organic Blood meal. -Randy

  15. Marsha Royster 2017-12-29 at 3:19 PM - Reply

    I bought some straw and every video I have watched tells me to have cut straw facing up with the string on the side. well the bale I bought the cut straw is on the side with the string what do if it is that way?

  16. LilBit AtATime 2017-12-29 at 3:21 PM - Reply

    New sub ~ thanks for the info. Thumbs up!

  17. Vi McShannon 2017-12-29 at 3:22 PM - Reply

    Can you use alfalfa meal? I don’t use animal products but would like to try straw bales.

  18. Terry 2017-12-29 at 3:23 PM - Reply

    Seems like chicken or cow manure would work as good to get the nitrogen that you need and definitelly put them on edge . Everything will be much easier–esp the watering–Old IA farm boy 🙂

  19. Camp RandD 2017-12-29 at 3:25 PM - Reply

    What if animals that were drained of all that blood were fed GMO grain and their blood now all genetically modified…I never feel comfortable using blood meal and bone meal in the garden for that reason…

  20. Kitty VanDuser 2017-12-29 at 3:27 PM - Reply

    Thanks for a great video! I plan to try straw bale gardening this season. I have a bad back, and I can’t bend & squat any more to do traditional gardening. I see the value in this method, as I can just plop another hay bale on top of a mostly-composted bale next year. I plan to have my Dear Spouse construct loose cinder block structures around the bales, to hold them in place. Although I have been growing veggies for 50+ years, I always try to keep an open mind, and I look forward to trying something new! Blessings on you & your garden efforts!

  21. Marilyn Roesler 2017-12-29 at 3:28 PM - Reply

    I’ve been doing straw bales gardens for years. I grow EVERYTHIN in them including tomatoe plants. you need to make your hole in the bale and before planting you need to put a little soil in the hole before you plant so the roots don’t dry out. Also once planted I use a dripped (soaker) hose and keep everything WET you can not over water in a straw garden but you can have it to dry! . Also lay your bales NORTH TO SOUTH so they get all day sun.preparing your bales put 1/2 cup nitrogen each bale every other day for 10 days soak everyday bales are ready, mushrooms will grow and there will be a sweet smell. (no plastic is needed on the ground.)

  22. Jubilee Homesteader 2017-12-29 at 3:31 PM - Reply

    What kind of yields do you guys get?

  23. Paula T 2017-12-29 at 3:32 PM - Reply

    Are the bales usable a second season or too composted?

  24. Devildriver187 2017-12-29 at 3:32 PM - Reply

    1st day you should mix Molasses with water to get the straw sticky, then a day or so after, you use blood meal or even fish emulsion, mixed into the water, all that goodness will stick to the molasses and stay longer and the molasses will feed the organisms, I noticed 2 to 3 times the results doing it, Nice video though and Thanks

  25. PeabodysParadise 2017-12-29 at 3:35 PM - Reply

    Good video, thinking of trying one of these this year and your video really helped.

  26. Alberta Urban Garden Simple Organic and Sustainable 2017-12-29 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    Very interesting. For all the gardening years I have under my belt I have never actually seen this method past Facebook posts 🙂

  27. Greg Hall 2017-12-29 at 3:38 PM - Reply

    Where did you get the blood meal and how much is it?

  28. pf1950 2017-12-29 at 3:42 PM - Reply

    my bales are growing straw green everywhere day 7 any suggestions obviously hay seed left inside ?

  29. jonna appleby 2017-12-29 at 3:43 PM - Reply

    This looks so great I am so excited to try ty for the informative video 🙂

  30. Marsha Royster 2017-12-29 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Yes very helpful, much thanks…:)

  31. madmouse1975 2017-12-29 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Awesome!! can’t wait to try this. Thank you for all the info.

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