A garden for all seasons

While you may know us best as one of the top places to visit for snowdrops in early spring, Painswick Rococo Garden truly is a garden for all seasons.

Here’s our month-by-month guide to some of our seasonal highlights.

January

The Garden reopens as the first snowdrops are beginning to burst into flower. (They usually start flowering in late January, but a mild winter can see them flowering a few weeks early. Check social media or our blog for a snowdrop update.)

A seasonal dusting of snow can quickly cover any snowdrops in a protective blanket, which combines with the dramatic winter sunlight to produce some unmissable photo opportunities. Head down to the Snowdrop Grove in late afternoon to see the low winter sun coming underneath the trees and lighting up the stained-glass windows of the Red House.

 

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hellebores
cyclamen
white dogwood
aconite

February

The snowdrops are at their stunning best, carpeting steep banks and woodland glades in pure white and fresh green. Also in bloom are the wonderfully long-lasting cyclamen coum and an array of hellebores, from the deepest purple to the softest cream.

We have around 5 million snowdrops, including some less-common varieties, such as the double form, galanthus nivalis Flore Pleno and galanthus atkinsii, a particularly large snowdrop with an historical link to the garden, which can be found in the Red House Wilderness.

 

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snowdrops
crocuses
cyclamen
wood anemone

March

The days are getting warmer and longer, and as the added light brings the garden into life, hellebores and cyclamen are quickly joined by a mass of daffodils, which carpet the orchard and banks at the entrance to the garden. With the trees still bare, the design skeleton of the garden is clear to see, giving a dramatic entrance through the stone arch.

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crocuses
daffodils
narcissus
hyacinths
crown imperials
grape hyacinths

April

The garden bursts into an abundance of colour, with the arrival of everything from tulips to fritillaries, and lilac to fruit blossom. As trees and shrubs regain their leaves, the open views and vistas of the winter months become obscured, and attention focuses on the internal features of the garden.

The display of over 8,000 tulips in the Exedra Garden is especially stunning this month, and cowslips and bluebells are particularly abundant in the wooded areas and meadows. Look out for our Auricula Theatre outside the bothy. These tiered structures were very fashionable in 18th century gardens and were designed to display potted primula auricula.

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aquilegia
tulips
spring pea
guelder rose
cowlips
bluebells
daphne mezereum
common primrose
euphorbia
dusky cranesbill
primula auricula

May

A particularly beautiful time to visit, with an abundance of tulips, fresh growth on spring shrubs, and aquilegia flowering in both the meadow and flower beds. (The common name for aquilegia is columbine – from the Latin for dove – as their young flowers look like a group of doves.)

Eye-catching blue and yellow clumps of upright iris appear towards the end of the month, and the scent of sweet William fills the Exedra Garden, while the large wisteria outside the coach house is at its beautiful best.

Meanwhile, wild garlic in our shady woodland provides us with a bountiful crop of fresh leaves for our café to use, as do other leaf crops from the Kitchen Garden.

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bluebells
wisteria
viburnum
laburnum
foxgloves
sweet William
alliums
iris
French meadow rue

June

Our blousy, fragrant display of heritage roses begins to bloom in the Exedra Garden, alongside perennials such as lavender, astrantia and campanula. Early salad crops from the kitchen garden make their way to the café, with the promise of much more to come, as our wildflower meadow fills with orchids. If you’re lucky, you may even discover a rare bee orchid – the first of which was spotted in 2013.

Look out for small bunches of grapes beginning to form in our vineyard, and day lilies in fiery shades of yellow, orange and red.

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roses
sweet peas
day lily
great masterwort
bellflowers
lavender
veronica spicata

July

Shaded walks provide a respite from the scorching sunshine, in what is often the hottest month of the year. In the Exedra Garden, our heritage roses continue to bloom, and hollyhocks, globe thistle and scabious provide height to the borders. The heady scent of sweet peas, bergamot and summer flowering jasmine is abundant, and a plentiful supply of seasonal produce from the kitchen garden means delicious fresh dishes in our café.

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perennial geraniums
sweet peas
nicotiana
rudbeckia
globe thistles
acanthus
day lily
nasturtiums

August

The perfect month for lazy summer days spent exploring, playing hide and seek, or reading in the dappled shade. New growth on trees and shrubs heightens the garden’s vistas, as you catch glimpses of the follies waiting to surprise you around the corner.

Summer warmth encourages late-flowering plants to bloom, including Michaelmas daisies and Helianthus Lemon Queen – a beautiful pale-yellow perennial sunflower – before autumn cyclamen appear later in the month, as a hint that cooler days are approaching.

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hydrangea macrophylla
cynara cardunculus
Michaelmas daisies
verbena bonariensis
garden mint

September

This month sees a crescendo of colour in the Exedra Garden, where perennials and annuals provide a magical display, including African marigolds, mirabilis jalapa, and salvia horminum Oxford Blue. Behind the maze, our collection of Japanese maples are beginning to turn magnificent shades of red and gold.

Elsewhere, the extensive crop of heritage fruits in the walled garden swells and ripens as harvest approaches. Apples and pears grown in the garden are used by our café, with surplus being turned into fresh-pressed and pasteurised juices on site – using a traditional apple press – ready to sell to visitors in our shop.

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hydrangeas
Mexican marigolds
mirabilis jalapa
salvia horminum Oxford Blue
Japanese maples

October

As the evenings draw in, the scarce days of spectacular autumn sunlight become even more precious. The colourful flowers in the Exedra Garden continue to bloom until the first frosts, and the autumn leaves of native and exotic tree species look particularly spectacular this month, as they begin to turn to warm golds and reds, revealing more of the garden wildlife as they fall.

Our Autumn Festival Weekend at the end of October sees free apple-pressing demonstrations, apple bobbing, apple baking around the fire pit, and lots more activities for families to enjoy.

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Japanese maples
sedum
autumn joy
common beech
common oak
white dogwood
cyclamen

November

The days are getting shorter as the garden prepares to go into hibernation over the winter.

Our deciduous trees are shedding their leaves fast, and the skeleton structure of the garden is revealed as they fall. Structural seed heads throw shapes around the garden, illuminated by a combination of morning dew and low winter sun. Reduced admission prices apply during November.

 

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common beech
American sweetgum

Fancy visiting our garden?

We’d love to see you! Click for our opening hours and ticket prices, or, to make an enquiry, complete the form here and our team will be happy to help.

You may like to check out our FAQs first to see if we’ve answered your question there.

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