Lawrence Johnston was an influential garden designer and plantsman who created the world famous gardens at Hidcote in the Cotswolds.
He was born in Paris in 1871 to American parents and spent his early life in France before moving to New York. But one theme of Johnston’s life was his love for Little Shelford – he lived here on at least four different occasions.
Lawrence studied in Little Shelford from 1893 to 1894 before and after he was a student in Cambridge. This included studying at Kirby Lodge in the High Street with John and Arthur Dunn before going to Trinity College in Cambridge.
He returned to Little Shelford between 1902 and 1907 when he created a rockery at Woodville Lodge at 4, Newton Road in the village.
Lawrence created the gardens at Hidcote after his mother Gertrude Winthrop bought the 300-acre estate.
He then spent a further year living in Little Shelford according to the book Hidcote, the Garden and Lawrence Johnston by Graham S. Pearson before he headed off to Northumberland to prepare for a career in agriculture.
In 1900 he became a British citizen and sailed off to South Africa to serve in the Boer war. His rose to the rank of Major in his army career.
He then returned to live in Little Shelford in 1922 before later moving back to Hidcote.
Other sections on the Little Shelford history website