Painswick Rococo Garden is the stuff of fantasy, perfect for exploring and peering at.
The Cotswolds are rolling, gentle, sweetbox lands, with charming, neat little villages nestled in the folds of the hills. So it’s rather a surprise when you find yourself surrounded by the flamboyant follies and vistas of Painswick Rococo Garden.
This garden is a fantasy mix of two landscape disciplines, designed as it was in 1730s, in the middle of a transition from formal French planting to the Landscape Movement. The formal and informal mingle wildly, with long vistas and geometric planting patterns coming up against asymmetry and winding paths.
Then there are the follies and the ornate gardens: The Melon Ground, The Doric Seat, The Plunge Pool, The Exedra, The Red House, The Geometric Kitchen Garden, The Gothic Alcove, The Pigeon House, The Eagle House, The Bowling Green and The Fish Pond.
Its first owner, Charles Hyett, moved to his new home, which he named ‘Buenos Ayres’, as an attempt to escape the smog of Gloucester which was aggravating his asthma. But he died soon after the home was built, and it was his son Benjamin who created the strange and wonderful garden that nestles in a valley behind the house.
The garden fell into ruin until the 1970s, when a group of garden historians restored it from a jungle into the gorgeous Georgian garden it once was.
It also boasts a famous collection of snowdrops in early spring. One of the largest naturalistic plantings of Galanthus atkinsii in the country can be found here.