If you are planning a visit and tour of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire then one of the must see attractions is Painswick Rococo Garden. This garden originally constructed in the early 18th Century by Benjamin Hyett can be found in a hidden valley behind Painswick house.
As with a lot of these gardens it had been left unmaintained and was by the 1970’s an overgrown jungle that appeared where the gardens once stood. Historians were very interested in the garden design of the period between 1720 and 1760; it was during this period of time that gardens, especially the gardens of landed gentry were designed as a playground of frivolity for the Georgian gentry to party.
This period of garden design was called Rococo by the garden historians and they encouraged Lord Dickenson a descendant of Hyett to embark on a programme of restoring the gardens to their former glory. It wasn’t until 1988 that the gardens were entrusted to the Painswick Rococo Garden trust that now look after maintain and run the gardens for everyone to enjoy.
The original gardens were painted in 1748 by Thomas Robbins and it is from this painting that much of the restoration work has been completed to restore it to its original state. As a permanent reminder of the original creation of the gardens that being one of a love playground for the Georgian gentry, stands a statue of Pan the God of love at the entrance to the gardens.
It takes around an hour to complete the tour of the gardens, but many people spend hours just strolling through and enjoying the peaceful sedate surroundings of this magical sensual garden. One of the most popular attractions in the garden is the maze which was actually constructed in more recent times and was first planted in 2000 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Painswick Rococo Gardens.
A fantastic focal point of the garden is the kitchen garden planted in the shape of a diamond with paths running alongside the herbs and vegetables, all this produce is used in the on-site restaurant to feed hungry visitors, so if you enjoy locally grown food then it could not be more local than being grown in the garden itself.
When the restoration of the gardens began it was decided to only use plants and flowers that would have been available up to 1745 this gives the garden a real sense of originality. If you love snowdrops then you are in for a real treat if you visit in February, Painswick Rococo Gardens has one of the most naturalistic snowdrop displays in the country.
There are many events laid on throughout the opening year which runs from February to October such as art exhibitions and historical readings in the grounds. Also a popular wedding venue because of its unique settings Painswick Rococo Gardens offer wedding ceremonies, baby naming ceremonies and renewal of vows ceremonies. The backdrop of the gardens and scenery make fantastic wedding photography. The coach house is also available to hire for parties, meetings and other functions along with the catering. There is also a gift shop on site selling a wide range of plants and pots to suit all budgets.