If you’re looking for a more quirky woodland walk in snowdrop season, and you don’t mind the odd, short climb, try visiting the Painswick Rococo Garden. It’s all about sweeping vistas, focal points and follies.
In contrast to the diversity of Colesbourne Park, the snowdrops here are restricted to a relatively few types. You could call them oldies, but goodies!
The common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis (single and double) and a large, early-flowering variety Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’ are planted in large drifts. The snowdrop section of the Rococo Garden website tells a little of the story of the latter and lists a few other cultivars also found in the garden.
One of the cultivars mentioned is Galanthus ‘James Blackhouse’, a version of ‘Atkinsii’, but with malformed flowers. The snowdrops were not identified, so I can’t be sure, but I wondered if I might have captured one of them in the picture above. I liked the woodland effect created by the out of focus bark, woodland debris and clinging ivy.
It was interesting to see the bee hives wrapped up snugly for winter. The bees must enjoy the bounty on their doorsteps and not having to venture too far on cold days.
I’m pretty sure the large snowdrop beauties around the hives are Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’ – you can compare their stature to the much tinier cluster to the right of the foreground.
The romantic in me takes pleasure in the inverted green heart shape we can often find on snowdrops. But then, an air of courtly romance pervades this garden: originally conceived as a flamboyant, outdoor room for entertaining guests, it is now a popular wedding venue.
Much of the planting is historically accurate (dating back to the mid 18th century), such as the old cultivars of fruit trees in and around the Kitchen Garden. The white Exedra adds a decorative, theatrical flourish. The follies and buildings are an irresistible ingredient in wedding photographs taken in the garden: if you search for ‘Painswick Rococo Garden’ in The Reader here on WordPress, you’ll see some fine examples.
We enjoyed the chance to see the bi-colour Anniversary Maze, planted to commemorate the garden’s 250th year, from a viewing point almost from overhead.
The gardens are around their peak as I write, so it’s a great time to visit if you’re in the area.
We loved the picturesque village of Painswick. We arrived early and spent a little time peering wistfully over low and high stone walls to catch glimpses of their winter gardens. The local churchyard is planted with a hundred elm trees, reminding me of the way children often draw of trees. I plan to share a few pictures in another post.
Contact details and opening times
Painswick Rococco Garden
Telephone: 01452 813204
Open from 10.30am – 5.00pm from 10th January to 31st October in 2016.
As always, please double check the website before travelling.